Airport Runway Rehab Scheduled

“What happens if we don’t do this?” Commissioner Keefe Burt asked.

“Then the FAA shuts us down. Basically, if we want to keep having an airport, we have to do this,” Jordan Russell answered.

Mr. Russell, a consultant hired by the Airport Authority to design and administer grants, presented to the Commission on Monday night on behalf of the Bibb County Airport Authority. He laid out the basic outline of planned repairs to the Bibb County Airport, as recommended by a civil engineering firm and informed by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations. In short: Runway 10/28 and both aprons will undergo joint and crack repairs with strenuous detail, and then the entirety will be treated with a micro-coating to seal and hold it for roughly a decade. New numbering markings will also be applied with an anti-fungal agent to keep the lettering white and prevent them turning black with age.

The total cost? $439,076. However, the majority of the funds are provided by a federal grant, due to the federal regulations requiring the repairs. After some math was sorted, it seems that Bibb County’s portion to match will be only $21,954, or 5%. A Yellowhammer report linked here explains more about the federal airport grant program that gave 21 airports in Alabama almost $26 million for repairs. Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport receiving the largest portion, at over $10 million. Bibb County (detail of grant here) received $382,518 from the program.

A 1-cent tax in the county is in part designated to the airport for repairs, maintenance, and improvements. When asked by Commissioners, County Administrator Derek Reeves said that the almost $22,000 needed for the grant match was currently in the account. Only Commissioner Charles Caddell didn’t vote for the release of funds (Commissioner Kelly was absent), and the motion to release funds for the grant-match passed.

The project will happen in September and October, with a 25-day closure somewhere amidst the 65-day construction project.

Garbage Contract is Trashed

Not on the agenda, but coming up as a question to County Attorney Anthony Johnson during discussion items at the end of the meeting, the county’s garbage transfer station contract with Big Sky came up once again. It seems that even after receiving notice from the county attorney now some months ago, the company was late on two more payments and shows no signs of catching up to come into compliance with their contract.

Commissioner Burt made motion to pull the contract – agreed by all to be severely in breech – from Big Sky and give it to the second highest bidder, at the price they bid and with a full three year contract from the start of their service. The company, Santek, apparently had asked for a 30-day notice if they were given the contract in order to make arrangements to start service. It’s unclear if that much notice will be possible, but it is believed that Waste Pro has other locations they can take garbage besides the local transfer station.

The motion passed unanimously, and with some enthusiasm.

Courthouse and Jail A/C

Besides the airport, more money came up in the form of courthouse security cameras – the lowest bid about $4,700 was approved, courthouse air conditioning repairs and replacements totaling $3,800 ($700 as an addition to a previously approved spend when it was discovered a 5-ton unit should be bought instead of a 3-ton), an air conditioner at the jail needing repairs costing $2,700, and the walk in cooler at the jail getting a quote for repair at almost $8,000, of which was decided to seek other quotes.

When asked if he had anything for the meeting, County Engineer Jeff McKinney replied that he had nothing to add. Commissioners and the usual crowd gasped, then had a good chuckle.

SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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A father, creative professional, and an alumnus of Bibb County High School, Jeremy has found his way back to Centreville after many years away. He studied Finance and Economics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and almost a decade ago left the "normal" business world for audio and video production. A freelance writer, photographer, sound engineer, and film and video producer/director/editor, his work has appeared online for Southern Living, People, Health, Food & Wine, Sports Illustrated, Cooking Light,, It's a Southern Thing, and This Is Alabama, as well as for independent musicians and filmmakers across Alabama.