Two airport projects taxi forward

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brookhaven Municipal Airport Commission Chairman Paul BarnettTuesday updated aldermen on ongoing projects involving hangardevelopment and safety measures at the city facility.

Last night’s reported following a recent meeting betweenBarnett, Mayor Bob Massengill, City Clerk Mike Jinks and Elton Jayof the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Aeronauticsdivision about the issue of airport safety.

“One year ago, they said the hangars couldn’t be built with thefunds we had,” said Massengill. “We have enough money now, but wehave an immense number of trees that need to be moved.”

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Now, said Barnett, by negotiating bids with engineers, they cancut their costs substantially. However, he pointed out that theyneeded immediate funding to complete the airport fence, which ispart of a safety issue since it would keep animals as well asintruders out of the airport grounds.

“We have funding available once we can complete the fence to goon to our next project, which is hangar development,” Barnett said.”We can proceed simultaneously, but we do need to go through theengineer selection.”

Barnett stressed that airport officials are looking to spend themoney wisely, not just for the sake of the airport, but also forthe city.

“We’re looking to get the most hangar spaces we can for themoney available,” said Barnett. “The more hangars we have, the moreplanes based there, the more revenue that comes into the city basedupon hangar fees and fuel sales.”

In other business, the board further discussed a planned trip toWashington to visit with the state’s congressional delegation toseek federal funding assistance with several city projects.

Those projects include sewer system improvements, clusterlighting for Exit 40 on Interstate 55, a community center,additional funding for the LinBrook Business Park infrastructure,paving for a section of Natchez Road. Board members were asked toconsider in the next few days other projects that could be added tothe list.

The trip is scheduled Feb. 28 – March 2. It was decided thatWard Four Alderwoman Shirley Estes, Ward Five Alderman D.W.Maxwell, Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron, and Massengill will beattending.

Also last night, Police Chief Pap Henderson was also inattendance to make the board aware of the upcoming United StatesPolice Canine Association Competition that will be held inBrookhaven Feb. 16-19, which will bring in law enforcement agenciesfrom all over the country.