City Awards Bid for Airport Runway Paving and Apron Expansion

June 18, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cracks in Airport Runway
Airport Runway Crack
Airport Runway to be Resurfaced

Highways Incorporated has been awarded a bid to perform the runway overlay and apron expansion at the Smithville Municipal Airport along with the design and construction of the new infrastructure for the Papi (runway) lights.

The aldermen Monday night approved the bid of Highway's Incorporated at $1,633,738 which was the lowest of the two bids submitted. "We did bid openings for airport bids for the overlay and apron expansion of the runway and also for the Papi lights," said Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson. These are two different grants but they are being bid under one project through our engineer R.W. Armstrong. We only had two bids turned in. Highways Incorporated turned in a bid for the paving of $1,561,653 and $72,130 for the runway lights for a total of $1,633,738. LoJac was the only other bidder for the paving of the runway and apron expansion at $1.9 million and $102,000 for the runway lights for a total of $2,072,000. Obviously Highways Inc. was the low bidder by roughly $400,000. Our engineering firm R.W. Armstrong made the recommendation to go with Highways Incorporated," said Hendrixson.

Last year, the city was approved for a $1.5 million grant to do runway overlay and apron expansion. State grant funding totaled $1,350,000 and the local matching obligation was $150,000. The grant for the design and construction of the Papi infrastructure was $96,300. The city's portion is $4,815. Since the grant does not cover the cost of the paving project, the city has applied for up to $190,000 in additional grant funds. If approved the city would be responsible for a 5% local match.The grants are made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division.

The airport runway may be closed while the paving project is in progress. The work is expected to begin next month.

Wesley Nokes, Manager of the Smithville Municipal Airport recently told WJLE how the grant funds will be spent. "We're having the runway resurfaced and we are expanding the ramp and our parking area at the airport. We're repairing a spot of existing asphalt that has deteriorated probably due to an underground spring. The design for all that, the engineering portion of it, we got a grant for that and then we got a separate grant for the actual construction, the asphalt for the runway, the asphalt for the apron extension and to repair the older asphalt," said Nokes.

"Another grant is for our PAPI lights, which are lights at the end of the runway that let the pilots know if they are on the right guide slope and if they are too high or too low coming in for approach for landing," said Nokes. "The wiring that supplies the electricity for these lights is extremely old. It was probably put in during the early 1970s. Its now dilapidated and corroded. This grant will replace all that wiring from the main hangar building out to each end of the runway, "he said.

In other business, the aldermen voted 4-1 Monday night to approve the new $7.8 million budget on second and final reading following a public hearing in which there was no public comment. Alderman Shawn Jacobs voted against the budget apparently because it does not include funding for at least one additional paid full time firefighter position.

The budget includes a 1.5% pay raise for all city employees including salaried personnel. Some employees will also get step increases depending upon where they fall in the wage scale for their department.

The city property tax rate will remain the same at .6490 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed value and there will be no increases in water or sewer rates.

Water customers will continue to pay $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $5.00 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Outside city rates are $7.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $7.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage.

The rate for city sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to be $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of usage plus $5.00 per thousand gallons thereafter. In addition, all sewer customers will continue to pay the $3.62 cent per month flat rate usage fee.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District for water is $2.05 per thousand gallons but will increase beginning with January 1, 2014 sales. The rate will be determined in a new contract between the city and the DUD, which has not yet been negotiated.

The new city budget takes effect July 1.

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