November 13, 2013 Edition

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Airport Commission
discusses budget


Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge Airport commissioners discussed the impact the Affordable Care Act will have on the 2014 budget at their meeting on Monday. Employee healthcare coverage will rise from $488 to $530 a month for each employee.

Airport employees are insured under the city's policy and subject to whatever decision the city makes concerning ACA requirements. One way the city can lower costs is to raise the deductible amount on the policy.

The 2014 budget is also impacted by a reduction in income. Airport income is down by $155,000 from 2010. Airport Manager Michelle Anthony and Commissioner Billie Gail Dunlap are working on the 2014 budget. The commission will pass the budget in December.

State auditors have informed the commission that leased properties at the airport will be subject to property taxes for 2013. Eight buildings, 10 huts and 25 aircraft hangers will be assessed. This is the first time property taxes will be levied on airport property. The airport plans to add the taxes to tenants leases for these properties.

The commission is asking for exemptions for the vacant buildings once occupied by Morgan Buildings and Spas and Universal Asset Management as well as the airport terminal. UAM is scheduled to remove the remaining items still in the building they leased by Dec. 1. UAM has been asked to pay the airport the property tax amount on the building they occupied.

In other business:

  • an auction of no longer needed equipment netted $13,789 and a dump truck and Grade All were sold for $3,000 and $1,000 respectively.

  • the purchase of a Farris mower was approved and a price limit was set at $8,000.

  • Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has designated the Walnut Ridge Airport as a disaster operations center. A site survey was performed by ADEM and FEMA and it was determined that the airport would be listed as a resource during a major disaster.

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