Thursday, October 13, 2005

Supervisors OK airport proposal; county taking over maintenance

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors OK’d a proposal Monday concerning future operation of the Holly Springs/Marshall County Airport.

Del Stover and Bill York presented the proposal on behalf of the Marshall County Airport Board and the Industrial Development Authority Airport Management Committee.

“We want to talk to you and make sure we’re all on the same page,” Stover said. “The most important thing is that the IDA is willing to concur with what the city and county want to do. The IDA does not want to be caught in the middle.”

Under the proposal, all maintenance of the airport will (as of October 6) be the responsibility of the Marshall County administrator.

Stover estimated the total cost of maintenance per year to be $3,000. It includes things like cutting the grass and spraying the fences.

Also under the proposal, the utility bill (electricity and water) would be the responsibility of the City of Holly Springs.

Stover estimated that annual expense at $2,400.

Supervisor Keith Taylor emphasized that it needs to be as much of a 50/50 agreement as possible between the city and county. Stover and York said the split of the maintenance and utilities would be close, saying the county could likely do the maintenance work for less than $3,000.

Stover and York said the proposal will be presented to the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen next Tuesday evening, Oct. 18.

“Hopefully, they will go along,” Stover said. “If not, we’re back to square one.”

All income from hangar rental and fuel sales will be used by IDA to pay for insurance, other expenses, and for matching funds for future Federal Aviation Administration grants.

Recent grants have been received for fencing and paving.

“We’ve written these grants and gotten them,” Stover said. “They’ve been a big help.”

The Marshall County IDA will remain the “administrator of record” with the FAA and Mississippi Department of Transportation.

A joint city/county Airport Management Committee would be established with Marshall County appointing their current Airport Board members as the county’s representatives and the City of Holly Springs appointing the current five members of the IDA’s Airport Management Committee as their representatives. The new Airport Management Committee will be responsible for the airport under the umbrella of the IDA’s administrator status. A member of the Airport Management Committee will be designated as the airport manager.

“I think it’s a fair proposal,” said supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett. “If we don’t settle it, it will be an argument from here on. I think this is about as equal as we’re going to get it.”

Supervisor George Zinn agreed.

“It’s a great idea,” Zinn said. “I would be in favor.”

The proposal passed unanimously.

In other business, the board:

  • OK’d renewal of general liability, automobile and equipment insurance presented by Bob Carrington with Greer and White. There will be a 17 percent reduction in cost, a savings of $40,000.

  • Accepted a financial report and calendar of events from Beth Overall of the fairgrounds. Many events are set for October, November and December, including “Tuesday Night Rides” for the community from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors is set for next Monday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m.


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