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Airport improvements continuing into 2013

Airport improvements continuing into 2013
Staff Reporter
It’s been an eventful year at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport and 2013 is shaping up to be just as busy.
The airport board met early today to go over some of the airport’s ongoing projects and began looking ahead to 2013. (See related photo, Page 10.)
“There has been some movement on a couple of projects we’re excited about,” airport consultant Tim Gibson told the board.
He is the airport’s new representative from the Memphis consulting firm of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon Inc.
He informed the board work has been completed on the security fencing upgrades and work on the taxilane connector is done, except for seal coating. That phase of the project won’t be able to be done until the spring, according to Gibson.
When asked about the work on the airport’s security fencing, airport manager Jo Ann Speer told the board, “I’m satisfied.”
When asked about the taxilane connector, Randy Hudgings with BWSC said, “I think it would be a good idea to open it up.”
The board approved final payment to contractors for both projects.
Airport board members were also updated on work on a multiple-unit rectangular hangar being built at the airport.
“Everything is looking good on that project,” Gibson told the board.
The foundation for the building has been installed, roof joists have been delivered and painting has begun on the structural steel. Now contractors are waiting on the delivery of the building to complete the project. The new airport hangar is being built by John Allen Construction of Henry County.
It was also revealed at today’s meeting the airport’s runway extension is in “closeout phase” and contingent on a final inspection planned for today, the remaining $22,000 owed to Ford Construction Co. will be paid.
Following the projects report, the airport board then shifted its attention to several planned projects at the airport.
Mrs. Speer will look into updating the restrooms in the terminal and also a plan to correct heating and air conditioning issues in the building. She told the board the work on the restrooms could cost from $2,000 to $10,000. The board’s maintenance committee will work with Mrs. Speer and a report is expected to made at the airport board’s January 2013 meeting.
The board was also informed a special program featuring Santa Claus will be held at the airport on Dec. 10 and a search and rescue exercise is scheduled for Dec. 14, hosted by the local Civil Air Patrol unit.
Mrs. Speer updated the board on several upcoming events planned for 2013, including an aviation art contest, an airport day in May, a fall aerobatic competition and a Great Strides Walk to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. The airport will be hosting the annual conference of the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association in April. Mrs. Speer said the writers group will be treated to dinner and a twilight air show.
In other action, the airport board:
• Was informed work on a new ag hangar project will resume in the spring.
• Was informed by Mrs. Speer that she and another pilot will be participating in the Air Race Classic in June 2013.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” she said.
The race, which will begin in Washington and will end in Arkansas, has been around since 1929 and is open only to women pilots. Among those who have participated in the event was aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, according to Mrs. Speer. She said the race is limited to 55 teams.
• Honored outgoing board members David James and Jimmy Westbrook with plaques presented by airport board chairman Dr. Chris Gooch. He thanked the two men for their service to the airport.
Today’s meeting was the first for new board members Stoney Orton of Union City and Kevin McAlpin of Weakley County. Orton is a pilot and a computer consultant with Local Government Corp. McAlpin is a Weakley County commissioner.
• Set its next regularly scheduled meeting for 7 a.m. Jan. 17 Published in The Messenger 11.29.12