Airport seeks county’s help with project

WINTERSVILLE – Jefferson County Regional Airport Authority will be asking the county commissioners for financial assistance in paying for engineering fees for the runway extension project.

The airport authority at its Monday meeting said it will ask the commissioner to either pay or loan the board the $218,448 for the engineering on the $2 million runway extension and paving project. Gary Folden, airport authority secretary, said the airport authority doesn’t currently have the funds available.

The engineering work was not part of the $1.5 million in state grants for the project. The commissioners also put in $500,000.

The airport authority had asked the commissioners several weeks ago to give the airport authority about $253,000 for part of the paving work but the contractor has agreed to wait until the money is released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Folden said paving work on the runway is expected to be completed today. Striping of the runway may happen on Wednesday, weather permitting, with the runway reopening on Thursday or Friday.

The runway at the airport has been closed since May 19.

Paving work was delayed until the commissioners and the airport authority could receive agreement from engineers on how to proceed since crack sealant caused the new asphalt to bubble. Commissioners and the airport authority met twice last week in special session before it was determined some of old runway, with the crack sealant, would be milled off and a new layer of asphalt installed.

The airport authority also honored Cathy Cucarese on her retirement from the board. She had served on the airport authority for just under 20 years, serving the past numerous years as its president.

Brandon Reese was elected by the board as president, and Geary Bates was named vice president.

The airport authority also agreed to construct a shelter for the fuel truck at a cost not to exceed $10,000.

The airport authority also met in executive session to discuss ongoing negotiations for a new gas and oil lease for airport property.