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Airport looks to cut runway costs

Longtime member Earl Muenze resign

May 14, 2013
By LINDA HARRIS - Staff writer (lharris@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

WINTERSVILLE - The Jefferson County Airport Authority still is looking at ways to bring cost estimates in line with the grant money it has to spend on the runway extension.

Authority members were updated on the runway project's status at Monday's meeting. Members also witnessed the swearing-in of Geno Morelli at the start of the meeting and, later, accepted the resignation of longtime member Earl Muenze.

Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Gentile said they need to find ways to bring the project in line with available funding.

Article Photos

TAKES OATH — Geno Morelli took an oath of office during his swearing-in at Monday’s Jefferson County Airport Authority meeting. - Linda Harris

"It's almost a $5 million project when you look at the overlay and widening (too)," he said.

Brad Homan of Michale Baker Jr., the engineering consultant, said there are a number of ways to bring costs in line, not least of which is pricing certain tasks by the hour rather than paying a lump sum.

"One of the things to keep in mind is that we actually designed more than a $2 million project for you," Homan added. "Now we're starting to pull back to bring it within your budget."

The state doesn't want grant money used to pay engineering costs for the project, which are expected to be in the $287,000 range, though so far the authority's members aren't sure if they can use local matching funds to cover the expense.

The engineers will continue to rework the numbers to see what can be cut to bring the project cost in line with the grant.

The authority, meanwhile, will ask for the county's help in relocating a water line that runs through the area where the runway extension will be going.

In other business, the authority will ask Jefferson County commissioners to pay a nearly $5,172 invoice for ecological survey and environmental assessment work and another $28,868 for preliminary engineering and field services done by Baker Engineering; and a $4,716 invoice from Richland Engineering for updating the airport's master plan.

The board also authorized purchase of a used 2007 International truck for $37,850, which will be equipped with a fuel tank that will be adapted for use as a fuel truck at a cost of $129,100.

Plans are in the works for a joint open house with the Jefferson County Port Authority, possibly to be held the third week of June.

 
 

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