Topp joins Airport Authority board

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW KNOXVILLE – The Auglaize County Airport Authority greeted a new board member at their meeting Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Neil Armstrong airport.

Airport manager Ted Bergstrom said that Sara Topp will replace Denny Schmiesing for the remainder of his term, which ends June of 2022. Schmeising has relocated out of the area and so could not serve.

Jason Clearwaters, of BF&S, the ACAA’s consulting firm, announced that ODOT had agreed to award the airport a grant up to $439,275 to repair deteriorating patches of runway and apron concrete. The county would be expected to pay $23,000, which represents a 5% share in match money. He said the next step in the procedure is to write up a bid proposal, to be submitted in January 2022. Clearwaters said seeking a bid early in the year should result in lower winter prices.

Financial officer Mark Howe reported that the airport had realized a positive overall financial position of $2,919.17 in August. Although this is a decrease of $4,798.13 from the same time last year, he said it is still the best the airport has seen post-pandemic. Fuel sales of 100LL was $12,768, up by $7,122, while Jet-A fuel sales amounted to $30,30,990, up by $10,002. Total operating income was $57,906, an increase of $17,065, while total expenses were $18,056, up by $4,705.

Current fuel prices at the airport are $4.95 per gallon for 100LL while Jet-A fuel is selling at $3.89.

Bergstrom reported that ODOT had visited the airport facility that day for compliance inspection involving FAA Advisory Circulars and maintenance practices. He said ODOT had no complaints and commented on the impeccable maintenance of the facility. Bergstrom added they had made suggestions regarding berm heights and field crop locations.

He also said, due to Ohio Sunshine Laws, they cannot no longer use teleconferencing and video conferencing for meeting participation by ACAA board members. The State of Ohio had recently removed this option, which was initiated during the pandemic.

All exterior metalwork on Hanger E is complete with installation of down spouting and drainage ongoing. He added they are still seeking exterior paint quotes. Some discussion centered on perhaps using metal siding rather than paint, but Bergstrom said ordering metal would takes several months.

The Automatic Weather Observation and Runway Lighting systems both had the antennas and coax cable replaced on Sept. 13. Bergstrom explained that there had been reports of static in the AWOS audio and difficulty in getting the runway lights to come up at distances greater than 5 miles from the airport. He said both systems appear to be operating in an improved state, although distance testing has not yet been performed.

Concerning the Aeronca accident where a plane wing tip damaged a hangar door, Bergstrom said they had received a single quote of under $900 for hangar door repairs. The aircraft has been listed online for auction, he said, with no reserve in place.

Bergstrom said the new terminal mural project is moving forward, with artist Kurt Doll currently obtaining materials and paints. Once they obtain approval from the Mural Committee, it was planned to start Facebook posts promoting the mural.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.