Airport officials compiling ‘wish list’

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Now that the runway work is in progress, it’s time to look at other improvements at the airport.

Curtis Brown of Woolpert told the Dubois County Airport Authority on Monday that he would like to work on a “wish list” of future capital improvement projects.

“It’s a great chance to re-evaluate the direction that we have on where to guide the airport,” he said. “As we talk to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) and the story we’re telling of where the airport wants to go with what and when.”

For the last few years, most of the focus has been on improving and lengthening the airport’s runway, which is now in progress. And there have been other discussions about other projects, like another T-hangar and a updated airport terminal. Brown said that now is the time to get all the ideas and wants together into a list.

“We’ve been so focused on the runway extension and taxiway lights,” Brown said, “that when you consider two to three years out, I personally don’t have a clear vision of where we want to go next. So we’re trying to reassess.”

The list will include projects that would be funded with local, state and/or federal money. Brown said he wants to have a draft capital improvements projects, or CIP, document that puts projects in order or priority.

“As the next grants and supplemental funding are coming, we can position and sell projects very legitimately,” he said. “If the state hasn’t seen them before, if (the projects) are pop ups, they’re just automatically off the table.”

Brown wants to make sure state and federal officials know of the airport’s future plans and ideas. “I want to get these projects in front of the state, in front of the feds early,” he said. “And then in October or November, when (possible funding) is coming, we can already say that this is where we’re wanting to go.”

Brown asked that board members share any ideas for future projects with Airport Manager Travis McQueen, Brown or Nick Kowalkowski of Woolpert so that they may be added to the list.

The board also:

• Heard an updated schedule on the runway project from Kowalkowski of Woolpert and gave McQueen and Board President Jim Hunsicker permission to hire a contractor to do crack-seal work on the runway.

• Approved various invoices for work that has been done on the runway project.

• Approved an agreement between the airport and Dubois County for maintenance on the new tunnel across County Road 200 West near County Road 900 South. The agreement will go to county officials for approval.

• Approved sending the airport’s proposed 2022 budget to the Dubois County Council and Huntingburg Common Council for approval. The $510,239 total operating budget is slightly more than previous ones due to plans to purchase a utility terrain vehicle, which would be heavily used by the staff to access the airport’s property as well as transport items and equipment around the property.




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