January 27, 2016 Edition

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Airport Commission sets
goals for new year

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport Commission discussed several improvement opportunities at Monday night's meeting. In addition to physical improvements, such as clean ups, the commission also discussed financial goals.

Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said his main goal is to get the airport financially sustainable without the use of revenue from the farmland operation. Cavenaugh said the revenue from the farmland could then be used for matching grants for improvements, which have previously been paid for through bank loans.

Commissioners approved Cavenaugh to do some clean up work around the airport using some of his employees. Cavenaugh said he adjusted his insurance policy to allow his workers to do community service at the airport and in Walnut Ridge and still be covered. All labor will be donated at no cost to the airport, according to Cavenaugh.

Also at the meeting, Donald Parten, a previous lessee of farmland owned by the airport came before the commission with concerns about reaching an agreement with the new lessee on Parten's personal property such as detachable well equipment.

Detachable equipment is traditionally sold from farmer to farmer as new lessees contract with the airport. Commissioners said they understood Parten's position but the airport was not a party to the transaction between farmers.

If an agreement cannot be reached on the equipment, Parten will be asked to remove it or forfeit it.

In other business, commissioners:

approved municipal property insurance increases on several properties as recommended by the lease committee. The increases will provide the airport over a million dollars in increased coverage at a cost of 13 cents for each $100 in coverage.

authorized an extension on a First National Bank loan to July. The loan is being used to cover costs associated with projects being funding through grants.

heard from Cavenaugh on a new lease being negotiated with Allied Agcat. He said a special meeting may need to be called to approve the lease once an agreement is reached.

approved adjustments to municipal vehicle insurance as recommended by Airport Manager Michelle Anthony.

authorized Anthony to prepare a list of unneeded items to list in the Walnut Ridge spring auction.

approved the payment of the liability insurance and locked in the rate for three years, as it was lower than it has been.

heard from Cavenaugh on plans to expand the lease committee into a planning committee that would look at some general planning goals for the airport, as well as continue to review leases. Commissioners Lloyd Clark and Ron Ingram agreed to continue to serve on the committee.

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