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Design work: Local airport utility project 'stays ahead of the game'

February 3, 2012

Neil Armstrong Airport Manager Sean Stroh says plans are underway to extend public utilities to the county airport.

Preliminary design work is underway to extend New Knoxville utilities to the county airport outside village limits.
A meeting held this week introduced key parties involved in the utility and drainage redesign project at Neil Armstrong Airport.
“We set preliminary timelines,” Airport Manager Sean Stroh said.
He anticipated early site survey work, including topographic surveying, beginning next week. Design work should be done by the end of summer and the project bid out by August.
“A lot depends on the bids,” Stroh said of costs.
A pre-application has been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for grant funding for construction. Whether funding is available and how much is available will be dependent on how a reauthorization bill for the FAA goes through. Typically, the airport receives $150,000 per year to apply toward capital improvement projects, so the project is expected to be done in phases over multiple years.
Stroh said he is anticipating the first phase costing about $265,000, depending on where bids come in, but they plan to
stretch the money as far as they can to cover project costs. Any extra would go toward other projects at the facility.
“Right now, we’re estimating the total project to cost $500,000,” Stroh said.
The project includes extending public utilities from the village to the airport property and specifically addresses future plans for construction of a new terminal building. The public utilities are to be extended to all facilities at the airport and replace old wells and septic tanks in use now.
“It lays the groundwork for the future,” Stroh said.
The planning phase also is to address electrical needs for future planning at the airport.
“The key item here is to build the foundation for the terminal building,” Stroh said. “What we are using currently would not be acceptable for a new facility to be tied into.”
Long-term benefits of moving to a public system include lower maintenance costs.
“A lot more maintenance has been involved as the eight septic systems and nine wells we have have continued to age, and that will only continue to get worse,” Stroh said.
He also said environmental legislation could possibly be mandated within a couple years and would require the same changes be made.
“We’re trying to stay ahead of the game,” Stroh said.

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