Council OKs airport capital plans

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sinkholes at the Troy Municipal Airport could be fixed within the next two years if federal funding is approved for the project.

The sinkholes are being caused by drainage problems at the airport, said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves. “And we need to get this addressed before we do anything else at the airport. If we don’t, we’ll just be throwing good money after bad.”

Engineers with Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, working with the city, have addressed two areas of drainage concerns, both located between runways and taxiways. In drafting a five-year capital improvement plan recommendation for the city, which was approved during Tuesday’s council meeting, the engineers outlined a plan for addressing the drainage problems.

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“We need to address the drainage issues before they reach the concrete of the runways,” Reeves said.

The 2015 plan calls for securing $135,000 in federal funds from the FAA for studying the extent of the drainage issues and outlining a plan and timeline for addressing them.

Repairs would be made during fiscal year 2016, with the estimated cost of the project around $500,000. “The good news is this is a 5 percent match for the city,” Reeves said during the work session prior to the council meeting. That match calls for the city to provide $30,000 in local funds with an additional $30,000 in state funds providing the full 10 percent match to the federal grant funds.

Once the drainage issues are resolved, the capital improvement plans call for improvements to the runway intersection, rehabilitation of the taxiway connector and resurfacing of runway 7/25 in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The total of all capital projects is estimated at $2.6 million, with $2.34 coming from federal funds; $130,000 from state funds; and $130,000 from city funds.

In other business on Tuesday:

• Jackson Giles shared his winning Red Ribbon Week essay with members of the Troy City Council on Tuesday, offering insight into why students should “Love Yourself and Be Drug Free.” Giles, a student at Charles Henderson Middle School, earned the top prize in the mayor’s annual Red Ribbon Week contest, edging out nearly 30 other entries.

“I’ve watched Jackson grow up and not only is he a bright young man, he’s a fierce competitor on the baseball field,” Mayor Jason Reeves said. “Thank you, Jackson, for sharing this essay with us.”

The other finalists recognized during the meeting included Caroline Bish and Kaylee Ferraro from Pike Liberal Arts School and Veronica cooper and Madi Johnson from CHHS.

The essay contest is sponsored annually by the City of Troy in conjunction with the national Red Ribbon Week celebration, which aims to help students identify the dangers of drug use and abuse and identify healthy and positive alternatives to using drugs or alcohol. Finalists received certificates of recognition and Giles also received a $50 gift card from Troy Bank & Trust.

“I just want to say congratulations to all the winners today,” Councilman Greg Meeks said. “And congratulations to their parents and grandparents.”

•  The council approved a $1.2 million tax abatement for Horn Beverage Co., which is planning an expansion. “The abatement is similar to the one we issued when Horn Beverage first built their facility in 2003,” Reeves said.

Horn Beverage, located in the Industrial Park on U.S. 231 South, plans to double the size of its existing cooler and add two loading docks as part of a $1.2 million capital expansion planned for spring 2015. The abatement, approved unanimously by the council, grants at 10-year abatement on ad valorem taxes and a 7 percent sales and use tax abatement on new equipment and building materials associated with the expansion. “This does not affect the school taxes in any way,” Reeves said. The mayor also said the investment by Horn Beverage is good news for the community. “This is positive news and they will add jobs as part of this expansion,” he said.

• The board approved an off-premises beer and table wine license for Garretts of Troy, which operates the Piggly Wiggly Store on Three Notch Street. The license, which was approved pending the store receiving final approval from the building inspector, will allow sales of beer and wine. “We’ve offered it at our 231 location and would like to offer it to our customers across town,” owner Steve Garrett told the council.

• Council members approved a bid award to G&K for uniforms for public works department employees and authorized the clerk to issue a new bid request for utility department uniforms, which must meet specific fire-retardant specifications.

• Council members held the first reading of a zoning ordinance amendment which would rezone a lot at the corner of Highway 87 and Country Club Road to commercial office zoning.

• And council members approved an additional payroll, which will provide a one-time payroll bonus of 10 percent of a week’s pay to all full-time city employees and a $50 bonus to all part-time employees. “We’ve done this every year I’ve been associated with the city, which is 18 years now,” Reeves said. “We used to call this a Christmas bonus.”