City continues airport expansion plans

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Madison City Council voted to approve a $36,000 task order for Jacobs Engineering Group to conduct services related to the acquisition of land related to the city’s Madison Municipal Airport (MMA) expansion plan. Jacobs will manage the city’s grants, which represent both federal and state funding, from the environmental assessment and pre-acquisition phase through the grant management and land acquisition stages. The work charged to Jacobs will result in 12 finalized negotiated agreements with the current titleholders, one per parcel, being delivered to the city. City Manager David Nunn stated that the task order is “typical” and that it “carries us from where we are now into the end zone” regarding the city’s current plans for MMA. The task order cites “inadequate runway length and limited space to place hangars” as the largest challenges facing the airport currently. The expansion strategy, which will require 100-plus acres of land, will include “recovering usable runway length, adding hangars, and ultimately extending the runway and developing the taxiway system.” Nunn added that federal funding will cover 90 percent of the cost of the work order, and state funding will take care of an additional 5 percent, leaving only 5 percent, approximately $1,800, being funded directly by the city. He stated that there would be two grant cycles related to MMA improvements, which will total from around $700,000 to $750,000, and that Jacobs will ease the city’s burdens in terms of making sure that all of the grant requirements are satisfied through the entire process. The task order states that the land acquisition phase should be complete in approximately 18 months, and the grant management phase will be concluded in around 20 months.

Nunn stressed the importance of having the city repair and retain MMA. “We’ve got to keep this one and maintain it,” said Nunn. The council voted to table a second task order for Jacobs, which would compensate Jacobs approximately $48,100 for conducting “runway pavement repairs services,” including designing pavement maintenance and repairs, supporting bidding and procurement, and providing construction support. Nunn said that the paving is inspected yearly and that the repair work to be assessed by Jacobs should cost somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000. He said that the same state funding formula would apply for the repair project. Council Member Joe DiLetto asked that the vote on the second work order be tabled until the city’s July 21 called meeting, since the council had only received the work order on the day of their July 14 meeting.

The Madison City Council also made several regular public service appointments. Elizabeth Fears, Bruce Gilbert, and Lynn Treadwell were all reappointed to three-year terms on the Cemetery Stewardship Commission. Current Downtown Development Authority members Clifton Hanes, Shandon Land, Everett Royal, Mike Torino, and Ben Whidby were all reappointed to two-year terms. Dana Kibbey and Rose Ann Weaver were appointed to the Main Street Advisory Board, and Rick Crown and Ashley Nichols were reappointed to the Greenspace Commission, leaving one vacancy on that board left to fill. The Madison City Council also voted to approve: an alcohol pouring license for malted beverages, wine, and distilled spirits for Tequila’s Mexican Grill, Inc., at 863 North Main Street. an amendment to the schedule of fees related to recycle bins and gas base rates. a resolution to update the records retention schedule.

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