Commissioners approve continuing work at county airport

Barbara Miller
Observer Reporter

Several projects, including work that will lead to runway rehabilitation and the preliminary design of a taxiway at Washington County Airport won approval last week from the county commissioners.

The Redevelopment Authority of Washington County received approval from the commissioners to have CDI-Infrastructure LLC, doing business as L.R. Kimball, preliminarily design the first phase of the south side taxiway at a cost of $204,360, to be paid from a combination of a state Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation capital grant, a Local Share Account allocation and local capital funds, which are required as a match.

The same firm will be performing the preliminary design of runway rehabilitation at a cost of $150,194 from the same sources.

The redevelopment authority, which oversees the operation of the county airport, also received approval to have Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Inc. extend a line to the airport’s north side development at a cost of $26,193.

The extension will be paid from both a Bureau of Aviation capital grant and LSA money from gambling at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

In a related matter, the board approved an agreement with Verizon Wireless for fiber optic lines to connect the public safety office at the airport at a cost of $72,498, to be paid with Act 13 funds from unconventional or “fracked” natural gas wells. Recurring costs are to be paid from the public safety department’s operating budget.

Commission Vice Chairman Diana Irey Vaughan questioned why the county needed a month-to-month agreement with Atlantic Nitrogen Holdings Inc. to park public safety vehicles at its facility at a cost of $1,500 per month.

Randy Vankirk, Washington County director of purchasing, said the arrangement is a temporary one until work progresses at the airport, where the vehicles will be housed permanently.