July 20, 2016 Edition

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Jerry Chism (from left), director of the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics, visits with Airport Commissioner Lloyd Clark and C.L. Clark, owner of Clark General Contractors, on Tuesday morning. Chism was in town to present a grant check and view repair work done at the airport with the funds.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Work completed,
grant check received

Gretchen Hunt

Work on the taxiway and ramps at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport was recently completed, and Jerry Chism, director of the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics was at the airport Tuesday morning to view the work and present a check for $495,891.80.

Airport Commission Chair Don Cavenaugh said the airport took advantage of a special payment grant offered by the Department of Aeronautics in April of last year.

The special grants were offered due to the bad winter weather in 2012 and 2013 and were designated to make concrete repairs such as those that were done at the Walnut Ridge facility.

"We had to submit quickly," Cavenaugh said. "We hustled and got it submitted and were able to take advantage of the opportunity."

The 20 percent matching grant allowed the airport to get a lot more bang for its buck.

"Basically, we spent $100,000 and got $600,000 worth of concrete work done," Cavenaugh said. "The aprons and taxiways were built back in the 1940s. There is still work to do, but it really helped us repair some places that were in rough shape."

The work, which was done by Clark General Contractors of Walnut Ridge, was completed in the spring. Chism and Lily Roberts, assistant director of the department, traveled to Walnut Ridge to present the state's portion of the funds.

"It is a pleasure to be here," Chism said. "The Department of Aeronautics is proud to partner with airports like Walnut Ridge."

He noted that grants from the department are designed to enhance safety, stimulate economic activity and maintain or expand infrastructure. He thanked Mayor Charles Snapp and the city of Walnut Ridge for the support given to the airport.

Snapp offered his appreciation to the commissioners, Chairman Cavenaugh, Airport Manager Maggie Glisson and the Department of Aeronautics.

"The airport is one of our hidden gems," Snapp said. "We have so much potential."

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