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Commissioners approve request from BOAC

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Commissioners unanimously agreed on Tuesday to allow the Putnam County Board of Aviation Commissioners to fund taxiway-apron and runway improvement projects at the Putnam County Airport using money from the county's Economic Development War Chest Fund.

The BOAC requested a total of $34,000 to be paid over the next three years -- $11,000 in 2010, $12,000 in 2011 and $12,000 in 2012. The funds will be used to match state and federal dollars for the $4.6 million in proposed projects. Projects to be completed include runway renovation to correct the vertical curve that now exists, as well as a pavement overlay for the entire runway.

The vertical curve problem with the runway occurred in 1995 when the runway was expanded. According to a formal written request to the commissioners from the BOAC, this curve "has had a modest impact on operations."

"With help from the auditor, the (Putnam) county council has authorized the establishment of a sinking fund to set aside funds for the project," the request said. "The fund has also been approved by the Department of Local Government Finance. The auditor will be setting up the fund this year."

The timeline for the project will be:

* 2010 -- Completion of required environmental studies and preliminary engineering on vertical curve and runway resurfacing

* 2011 -- Taxiway, apron expansion and apron overlay construction

* 2012 -- Vertical curve and resurfacing engineering final design and bidding

* 2013 -- Vertical curve and resurfacing construction

Because larger and faster jets have been landing at the airport as the years have passed and because of changes in Federal Aviation Administration standards, the FAA has made matching funding available to the Putnam County Airport and other airports of its size. About $125,000 in local funds are required to match the $4.35 million in federal funds and $104,000 in state funds.

"As part of the process, the FAA has pushed up the programmed runway resurfacing from 2017 to 2013," the request said. "Typically, runway pavement life is 20 to 25 years."



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