NEW KNOXVILLE – Rehabilitation of the Neil Armstrong aircraft parking was a focus of the Tuesday night, April 23, Auglaize County Airport Authority (ACAA)meeting. Jason Clearwaters of BF&S, the ACAA’s consulting firm, recommended that Auglaize County Commissioners apply for a $462,394 ODOT grant. If ODOT approved the grant, repairs would be made to the aprons (aircraft parking), fences and runway lighting. The state would cover 95% of the project while commissioners would contribute 5%.
The project would rehabilitate the existing aircraft parking apron at the airport. Clearwaters said much of the existing concrete pavement has exceeded its design life and is exhibiting severe and moderate distress. The repairs would include partial depth repair where concrete pavement panels can be salvaged, repair cracks in some panels and replace shattered slabs. Other parts of the project would include fencing replacement and repairs, as well as improve Airport runway lighting.
In other action, Airport Manager Ted Bergstrom told the ACAA that he thought it will be necessary to raise the cost of discounted fuel prices to the airport tenants to allow a minimal profit margin for the airport. He said the complete lack of transient plane traffic in March brought the problem into focus. Transient traffic, which are planes landing for fuel, but have no hangars, pay full price for fuel.
In other news, Bergstrom said two finalists had been chosen for the new terminal mural project. He said the mural committee and the commissioners were discussing which mural to choose. Five proposals were submitted, all from Ohio. In regards to the upcoming June 12 Grand Opening, Bergstrom said they have three food trucks booked (one of them ice cream), are arranging for parking lot transportation options, and will have agriculture equipment displays and drone demonstrations. He also said that he is working with the WACO Museum near Piqua to have a bi-plane available for paid plane rides. The event will also have food and beverages, children’s projects, viewing of the jet flown by Neil Armstrong, and a night-time 5 K race along the airport’s runways.
Bergstrom said ongoing work projects included repair of a section of floor epoxy that had begun separating from the surface in one section. He added that Rhino Flooring had reviewed the problem and warranty work will not cost to the county anything.
In other action, Baumer Construction has been selected to do exterior work on Hangar E. Hangar F’s exterior work was completed by Baumer Construction. Next, Tom’s Painting was approved to start in the coming weeks.
Buschur Electric has replaced the transfer switch and control board for the new terminal generator and the generator was successfully tested. It is now on a weekly schedule to cycle itself and Buschur is scheduled to do preventative maintenance every 6 months.
Under equipment repairs, Bergstrom reported that the yellow International dump truck needed a steering box replacement in February. Also, $4,000 was spent to repair the red International truck, which was out of operation because of problems with transmission temperature sensors and transmission computer controller.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.