July 29, 2015 Edition

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Airport Commission pursues
selling property to BRTC

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Airport Commission discussed the possibility of selling the eight acres currently used for the Black River Technical College Fire Training Center to the college.

The college currently holds a 50-year lease with the airport at $1,200 a year, but Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said he spoke with BRTC President Dr. Eric Turner recently about what it would take to sell the property.

Cavenaugh said the location of the fire training facility is far enough out to not impact the functionality of the airport. "I don't see it affecting the airport where it's at. I don't think in 100 years it would affect it," he said.

The commission voted for the airport to pursue options for selling the property at fair market value. The transaction would have to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, airport commission and Walnut Ridge City Council.

Commissioners said they were unsure of what facilities or expanded programs would be used at the property, but Cavenaugh said anything they develop in the area would be positive.

Also at the meeting:

Airport Manager Michelle Anthony updated commissioners on projects being done at the airport using grant funding recently acquired. She said there are still several supplies needed that are being shipped but crews are working on what they can until then.

Commissioners approved work to be done on an inlet with improper drainage. The work will be done by Clark General Contractors and is expected to cost about $4,000.

Anthony announced that an AIP grant would have to be rebid due to only receiving a single bid. The airport will start accepting bids Thursday at 2 p.m.

Commissioners also discussed the need to dig around sections of a pipe that runs about 500 feet. Anthony said there is at least three sections that need work but repair costs could not be ascertained until the pipe is exposed. The commission requested to enlist the help of either the city or the county to help dig out around the pipe if they have equipment available. If not, they would hire out the work at an hourly rate.

Anthony informed the commission that Industrial Automated Control out of Jonesboro is donating several lights to be used on the historic tetrahedron. The tetrahedron will be redone with new aluminum exterior and multi-colored lights.

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