June 15, 2011 Edition

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WR Airport Commission
discusses grant, lighting

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge airport commissioners were given updates on an Airport Improvement Grant, MASLF lighting and estimates for improvements to the building occupied by Arkansas Turbine at their meeting on Monday night.

Airport Manager Mitch Whitmire reported that he had recently spoken with a Federal Aviation Administration representative about the airport's $78,723 Airport Improvement Grant.

"There is one final document we need to send to the FAA before we receive notice to proceed with the project," Whitmire said.

The needed document from the engineer was received the day after the commissioners' meeting and will now be sent to the FAA, Whitmire said on Tuesday morning. The grant will be used for culvert and concrete apron repairs.

An FAA project manager gave an update on the MALSF lighting that will be installed at the airport. The FAA is in the process of having the lighting installed and has set an Aug. 15 deadline for completion of the project.

Whitmire told the commission that estimates have been received for insulating and structure modification to the building occupied by Arkansas Turbine.

"The estimate for insulating the building is $9,700 and the modifications are estimated at $3,500," Whitmire told the commission.

Arkansas Turbine owners have requested the improvements to the building, making it a workplace better suited for the company's needs. Following a recent sale of surplus equipment owned by the airport, Whitmire reported that 12 pieces of equipment had been sold, bringing in $13,937.49 for the airport fund. He added that more surplus items will be sold at future sales.

Whitmire also said commission chair Dan Coker has met with city officials and gone over damages at the airport caused by flooding and strong windstorms.

"We will complete the forms needed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to apply for reimbursement for damages we received," Whitmire said.

At a recent meeting commissioners approved spending up to $2,000 for installing Suddenlink equipment for the airport terminal.

"We're at the limits of service in the area out here at the airport," said Whitmire. "Suddenlink sent a subcontractor to the terminal, and he installed a new wireless system for us.

"We have a great new system, and they did not charge us an installation fee," Whitmire told the commissioners. "That's $2,000 we were able to save."

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