Airport commission takes first steps to acquire property

Thursday, November 10, 2005

BERRYVILLE -- With a fuel tank installed and ready to go, pending licensure and receipt of fuel, Carroll County Airport Commissioners took a step Thursday night to acquire property along the airport's south side as part of its master plan.

The plan indicates the property would be used primarily to locate an additional 22 hangars. It is owned by Dr. Alice Martinson.

Consultant Dan Clinton of Grimes Engineering cautioned the commission concerning FAA procedures relating to land acquisition. "You do not approach her, and she does not approach you," he said.

The first step, Clinton said, is to obtain an environmental due diligence audit, followed by an appraisal and a review appraisal. Cost of that process would be less than $10,000, and would be reimbursable by the FAA.

Condemnation procedures by the county would be the last remedy in acquiring the land, Clinton said, but the FAA will not pursue the audit and appraisals without assurance from the county beforehand that it would pursue condemnation if other negotiations failed.

Clinton also reported that the airport taxi way extension is going well, and discussed upcoming grant applications and state aid for the taxi way and fuel system.

He advised that seal-coating of runway cracks and remarking is not timely as surface temperature needs to be 50 degrees or higher. Seal coating is estimated at $100,000, and Chairman Scott Link recommended putting the project in a revised Master Plan which the commission is expected to formulate next year.

Regarding poor drainage at the airport's long-term hangars, Clinton recommended an initial remedy of installing gutters with three-foot extensions to each side to channel runoff away from the buildings, then address "loose ends" at a later time.

Link reported unanticipated needs prior to getting fuel for the airport's recently installed 10,000-gallon fuel tank, saying that an aviation permit number and sales tax identification number are needed before the commission can accept a fuel delivery. He is pursuing the documents and hopes to have them in hand within a few weeks.

He also said the equipment needs to be calibrated, and computer training needs to be conducted.

Regarding the credit/debit card reader for the fuel system, there was some discussion about also adding a "smart card" service which could be used by pilots based at the airport for a discount in price.

Smart card programming would be required for the reader, and Link advised getting the system up and working first, and completing training, before considering the option.

Treasurer Lonnie Clark reported a total balance of $87,852.92, with $11,321.31 in checking. The airport improvement savings account contains $57,753.61 in matching fund monies, and $18,778 dedicated to the fuel system.

The commission decided to set up a third account for fuel system operations.

Link reported that state records indicated the airport had 20,000 flights per year, a figure which had been on the books for many years. He advised that the number has been changed to reflect 3,000 local and 1,000 visitor touchdowns and takeoffs per year.

In new business there was some discussion about underfunding of the airport manager's position. Commissioner Ed Regnier suggested that including a hangar for the manager's use could "sweeten the pot," but that would require an ordinance by the quorum court.

It was further noted that in the past a site was provided for a trailer house, along with utilities, for the manager.

Manager Perry Evans reported that with the growing season at an end, he is going to focus on structural maintenance and repair in coming months.

Airport patron Al Iller asked for volunteers to work on clearing out the easement for the Tri-State access road.

In response to complaints by Commissioner Steve Rose regarding the pettiness of some airport patrons in light of the progress the commission has accomplished, Evans stated "If it's any consolation to Steve, all the pilots landing here are excited about an empty fuel tank sitting out there."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: