The Messenger 06.18.12
By KEVIN BOWDEN
While major construction work continues on the new road leading to Everett-Stewart Regional Airport, now the interior of the airport terminal is getting a facelift.
The Everett-Stewart Regional Airport Board met early today in the terminal, surrounded by scaffolding, clear plastic sheets and wet paint signs. Work on the renovation of the terminal is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month, according to airport manager Jo Ann Speer.
The new airport road that will extend from the terminal to a new intersection at Highway 22 East was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-December, but airport commission board Dr. Chris Gooch announced this morning the road is expected to be completed by August.
All the work taking place at the local airport represents a major investment in what continues to be a hub of activity for Obion County. Crews were out early today using heavy equipment to lay out the new airport road, while work is nearly complete on the off-ramp on Highway 22 East. Once complete, the new road will provide more convenient access to the airport from Martin as well as from Union City.
It was more than a year ago that work on the new road began.
Also during today’s near-40-minute meeting, the airport board was updated on progress being made on its 2012-13 budget. While work is continuing on the new budget, the board voted to adopt a continuation budget from this fiscal year.
The airport’s proposed new budget is nearly $4 million, according to Mrs. Speer. She and board member Kay Stegall have been working on balancing the airport budget. Originally, the proposed new budget would have used about $138,000 in fund reserves to balance the budget, but Mrs. Speer and Mrs. Stegall have whittled that amount down to about $40,000 in fund reserves needed to balance the budget.
Board member Jimmy Westbrooks emphasized the need to try balance the budget by cutting expenses and not using fund reserves. The airport board has about $250,000 in fund reserves, according to Mrs. Speer.
In other action at today’s meeting, the airport board:
• Was given an update on several airport projects by Mrs. Speer. She informed the board the final inspection of the airport security fencing is pending and bids for a planned new multi-unit hangar will be opened July 18. Construction of the new multi-unit hangar is scheduled to begin in mid-August.
A proposed $1 million agricultural development project (for crop dusting operations) is moving forward, with the estimated start date for that project set for September. In connection with the ag development, board members are pushing to get work started on a new water well that will serve the ag development hangars.
One other new project at the local airport is proposed repair work to the airfield’s electric system, which operates the runway lights. Currently, about 40 of the taxiway lights don’t work properly and that problem was described as a serious safety issue that needs to be corrected quickly. A $421,400 state grant has been approved to correct the problem and work on the project is expected to begin this fall.
• Announced the next airport board meeting will be held at 7 a.m. July 26.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at email@example.com.