Archived Story

Council rejects airport improvement bids

Published 4:15pm Friday, August 15, 2014

The Hartselle City Council rejected all bids for the FY2014 Airport AIP Project per the Department of Development’s recommendation at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening Aug. 12.

The project would have improved airfield drainage at the Hartselle-Morgan County Regional Airport. Department of Development Director Jeff Johnson said the improvements were not specifically important right now, but they could become necessary later.

“It’s best to wait for this project since it’s not an emergency airfield safety concern at this time,” Johnson said. “This project will only become necessary when we look into extending the runway, which is something we want to do but do not have specific plans for at the moment. These improvements would need to be done before the runway is extended while trucks can still get to the areas with drainage problems.”

Johnson informed the council that the $297,315 low bid for the project was over $157,000 more than the $140,228 grant Hartselle received for the project.

Johnson also said that the local match approved in November of 2013 had increased from $16,500 to $40,800. The final grant application totaled $78,000 more than the council approved in November.

Johnson assured the council that he had spoken to the FAA project coordinator in Jackson, Miss., who told them it would be “no problem at all” to carry the current grant offer forward to the next fiscal year.

“The FAA said grants can be carried for over for as many as three years if needed,” Johnson said. “We can wait and keep the current grant until we can combine it with additional federal funds and the budget for FY2014. We have also been fortunate enough in the past several years to have $38,000 leftover in the budget from past FAA project loans.”

In other business, the council also granted tax abatements to Pro-Fab Machine of Hartselle while they conduct an estimated $7.05 million expansion project. Councilmembers authorized Mayor Don Hall to sign a renewal agreement with Morgan County 911 and an Association of Rural and Small Libraries Conference grant for the William Bradford Huie Public Library. They also authorized Mayor Hall to decide if city employees receive vacation pay-outs in a lump sum or in bi-weekly portions.

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