Airport layout update funded

Friday, August 10, 2007

SIKESTON -- Mississippi County may receive up to $67,000 to update its airport's layout plan.

County Clerk Junior DeLay presented County Commissioners with a letter received Wednesday from the Missouri Department of Transportation which advised the county was approved for state aviation trust fund participation in MoDOT's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for state fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

The letter advised grants are administered on a cost-sharing basis with the state possibly providing up to 90 percent of the eligible costs.

The $67,500 in state funds tentatively allocated would be combined with a local match of $7,500 for total project budget of $75,000.

Commissioners said as the total project cost would probably be lower, both the county's and state's contributions would likely be scaled back some from those maximum figures.

County officials must notify MoDOT no later than Sept. 1 if the county is financially prepared to move forward with the project and submit a State Aviation Trust Fund Program application.

Upon receiving the application, MoDOT officials can authorize the county to proceed to the next step.

DeLay said the original airport layout plan, which included tentative locations for T-hangars, does not match the airport's actual layout presently.

An airport layout plan is "just like a blueprint," DeLay said, and is supposed to be updated as additions to the airport are made.

In other business:

* A bridge at County Road 408 near the Bridges community will be replaced with three elliptical culverts.

Commissioner Martin Lucas said according to his calculations, three culverts which are 103 inches wide and 71 inches tall will adequately handle the water there. Elliptical culverts handle low-flow water better than round culverts, he said.

"We're going to have to go with 40-foot pipes," Lucas said.

The total cost for the three culverts is $13,326 plus $50 per pipe for lifting eyes to make them easier to install.

The aluminized pipes should last at least 25 years, but Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said they will probably last 35-40 years.

Commissioners agreed on a snowstone base so the pipes will stay at the same level.

"They'll have about a three-foot cover on it which is more than adequate," Lucas said.

As blacktopping needs to be completed first, Blumenberg estimated it will be about two weeks before the road and bridge department can install them.

To date, $40,785 of the $65,000 budgeted for blacktop has been spent between Russell, Thomure and Miller roads, according to Blumenberg.

While the county will have gone over budget with the purchase of the elliptical culverts having budgeted only $5,000 and spent $2,300 already, "if we eliminate a bridge for $13,300 we've done good," Lucas said.

Before the price of steel went up, it cost the county about $50,000 to build a bridge using railroad flatcars, commissioners recalled.

* Commissioners approved the David Aaron Morgan and Steve Jones subdivisions being blacktopped. As the local residents of each subdivision will pay for the blacktop, the county's approval is contingent on the residents getting their money together up front.

Commissioners also required that the blacktop be at least 2 inches thick.

* Commissioner Homer Oliver presented another update on work to improve Ditch 23's flow.

The contractor has only been able to put in another 20 hours, Oliver said.

"We had pretty good flow this morning," he said, although the ditch's water level is still high.

Oliver said there is some vegetation that really needs to be removed and also discussed putting in a concrete "core trench" where the ditch bank has sloughed. He explained a core trench is excavated in the ditch bank and filled with rock so ground water "will bleed out rather than slough."

The Ditch 23 fund has another $13,000 left to expend, according to commissioners.

With the fund only slated to have $10,000 to spend next year after paying bond payments, Blumenberg said they need to spend what they have now and then stop.

* Commissioners set all drainage district maintenance tax rates at the same rate they were last year.

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