Airport work continues; industrial prospect visits

Airport work continues; industrial prospect visits
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Obion County’s award-winning airport continues to work on major improvements to the complex and now the airport is attracting the attention of a new industrial prospect, according to airport manager Jo Ann Speer.
The Everett-Stewart Regional Airport board met early today for just over an hour and reviewed several key reports dealing with airport projects.
The local airport will begin work later this month on a 2012-13 budget and continues to press forward with work on a new maintenance hangar and new hangars for crop dusting operators.
“That project is moving along,” airport consultant Randy Hudgings told the board this morning as he referred to a third new hangar project.
The airport board is working on building a new T-hangar that will be big enough to house five planes. Hudgings said bids for the new T-hangar should be in by late May and construction is expected to begin in June.
Work has been completed on the removal of the airport’s old underground fuel tanks and security fencing around the airport is nearly complete. The runway extension project is in the closeout phase, so the airport board approved paying $106,000 of its $121,000 bill to Ford Construction Co. The remainder of the bill will be paid as soon as some final work is completed on the runway project.
With all the work taking place at the airport, the only thing slowing down the work is the slow pace of state and federal funding approval. A majority of the projects at the airport are financed with 90 percent federal and state funds, combined with 10 percent local funding from Obion and Weakley counties.
“Things are moving, slowly,” Hudgings said in reference to the state’s approval process for airport projects.
Mrs. Speer informed the airport board she is working with the local chamber of commerce on a prospect considering a new flight school at the airport. She said she doesn’t have any details about the prospect but is excited about the possibility of a new business considering locating at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport.
Mrs. Speer informed the airport board she has a verbal commitment from Bill Waggoner on his plans to start a new maintenance operation at the airport once his new hangar is built. Waggoner had been recruited by the Dyer County airport, but Mrs. Speer said he is committed to locating his new business in Obion County.
Mrs. Speer also reported she is working with the local chamber on a possible business expo and car show at the airport as well as the possibility of using the airport as an alternate site for the 2nd Annual Taste of Ken-Tenn event, in the event of inclement weather. Last year’s Taste of Ken-Tenn was held in Union City’s Kiwanis Park.
The airport board approved its 2011-12 audit report today and will meet at 7 a.m. either April 30 or May 1 to begin work on a new budget. Members of the airport’s budget committee include board chairman Dr. Chris Gooch, Kay Stegall, Jim Bondurant and David James.
“I’ve got some preliminary numbers put together,” Mrs. Speer told the board.
In other action, the airport board:
• Authorized Mrs. Speer to come up with cost estimates to paint and install new lighting in the airport’s existing T-hangar just north of the airport terminal.
• Accepted a $2,500.01 bid from John Lucy of Fulton for the purchase of the airport’s old fuel truck. The board also approved selling off some other assorted scrap materials, which brought just over $300, according to Mrs. Speer.
• Approved a 20-year lease agreement with Alex Lundy, who operates Lundy Air crop dusting service at the south end of the airport. He will pay the airport $375 a month rent and has agreed to buy all his fuel from the local airport.
This morning’s airport meeting barely had a quorum with only four of the seven airport board members present.
The airport board’s next meeting will be held at 7 a.m. May 22.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.19.12

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