A Spokane attorney was selected Monday as the lawyer for the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

The airport authority board chose Thad O’Sullivan in a unanimous vote. O’Sullivan works in the same firm that represents the Spokane International Airport.

“They’ve worked through a lot of the same things (as us),” board Chairman Gary Peters said.

O’Sullivan will be paid $235 per hour, and half that rate for travel, in an agreement that doesn’t specify the length of time he will assist the Lewiston airport. He will likely participant in some meetings electronically to save the airport the cost of the five-hour round trip.

His proposal was the only one the board received after delaying the decision to hire him last month so the position could be advertised to other legal firms.

“We’re trying to get things done as fast as possible, but we want to dot our i’s and cross our t’s,” Peters said.

O’Sullivan replaces Danny Radakovich, a Lewiston attorney who took the job on a temporary basis and is now nearing retirement.

Getting O’Sullivan on board is one of the tasks the board is completing to be ready for a new manager. Thirty-eight people have applied for the position, Peters said, and the board expects to pick the finalist Jan. 10.

The airport has had six managers and interim managers since 2014, including the present interim manager, Clarence W. “Bill” McKown Jr., as it navigated through a series of challenges. Among them were losing Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines and one of two airlines serving the airport, and fixing numerous deficiencies identified by the Federal Aviation Administration in January.

In other business, McKown announced the airport’s administration offices are moving from the terminal to the airport operations building by Friday. The airport operations building is about a quarter-mile south of the terminal on airport land, though it’s about a 2-mile drive between the two buildings for members of the public, who are not allowed in restricted areas of the airport.

The building was completed about a year ago and was designed to house the airport’s staff, firetruck and snow removal equipment in a single location.

Previously, the airport board had delayed the move of administration to save money. But Peters said the FAA isn’t happy it covered the majority of the cost of the $4.32 million project only to have part of it sit vacant.

“It’s going to increase efficiency,” he said.

Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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