Board Of Aviation Commissioners Get Updated On Airport Projects

TIMES UNION REPORTS – Updates on several projects at the Warsaw Municipal Airport were provided at the Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting Tuesday.

Robert Lafayette, airport planner at CHA, the Warsaw Airport’s contracted engineering firm, said the runway 1836 extension and improvement project is being closed out.

“We have a grant amendment that I discussed last time. We met with (Airport Manager) Nick (King) to discuss the grant amendment with the FAA. CHA submitted the grant amendment paperwork to the FAA, specifically Victor, and we’re waiting on a response,” Lafayette said, adding he probably would have more information for the Board at their next meeting.

The cost of the project was around $2 million with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) paying the bulk of the cost.

Lafayette didn’t have an invoice for the Board from CHA at Tuesday’s meeting.

On the runway 9-27 obstruction mitigation project – the lowering of the power lines at the end of the east/west runway – Lafayette said AEP is finalizing the pre-construction agreement.

“They had a change in their legal department. The person who was assigned to this project in their legal department left the company for another opportunity, so we switched legal partners within AEP so the project manager worked pretty hard to get the new legal folks up to date,” he said. On Friday, CHA got word that AEP was finalizing the pre-construction agreement. He said that’s in its final stages.

“Right now, the only thing that we’re working through is, the last piece, the invoicing. AEP wants to invoice on a different schedule than as per typical per FAA. So we’re coordinating with the FAA to make sure that invoicing for this project is appropriate and consistent with FAA grant drawn down,” Lafayette said.

The FAA is providing a grant of over $6 million for the power line lowering.

“And that agreement is the pre-construction agreement. The construction agreement, which is immediate subsequent, is in its draft form and has incorporated the comments that we made to the pre-construction agreement,” Lafayette said. “So I think once we have the invoicing OK from the FAA, we will have everything for signature, both the pre-construction immediately following the construction agreement and we’ll be rocking and rolling.”

He noted there are biweekly meetings in place, which will help keep AEP moving.

Lafayette then presented two invoices and a pay request. The pay request is so CHA can get everything set up in Delphi so they can start the grant draw down for the project.

The first two invoices are for the work CHA has done to date on the power line project. The first invoice is for $33,539.50 for work done through July and the second is for $5,447.94 for work done through Oct. 1. Both were unanimously approved by the Board.

Lafayette then brought up the runway 9-27 programming. CHA, at its offices, had a strategy summit to kick off a workshop Oct. 6 with King and CHA employees. He said they put together some priorities, projects and discussed the strategy moving forward for the 9-27 programming.

“And what came out of that, next steps, is on CHA to work with Nick to develop a preliminary capital improvement plan, or CIP. That is the short- and long-term programming for projects at the airport,” he said.

On Nov. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., he said they will meet with the Indiana Department of Transportation on the CIP to discuss with the state what the airport is doing over the next five years. It will be a virtual meeting. Board President Jay Rigdon said he can attend that meeting.

“Subsequent to that meeting on the 15th, the programming starts for the framework for the runway 9-27 program. So that’s when things will get a little bit heavier as to getting things in line to what’s the next step, what’s the first step, program applications, those type of things,” Lafayette said.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved pay request No. 3 for $7,217.71 to CHA for the Zimmer Biomet hangar door replacement, as requested by Lafayette. Robinson Construction is doing the construction on the door at a cost of nearly $700,000.

• Approved for the 2022 Military Stand Down to be held at the airport from 3 to 6 p.m. July 22. King said the 2021 Military Stand Down went so well, the airport was asked to host it again.

“My staff loved it. I loved it. Mayor (Joe Thallemer), you came out to see the success. They said it was one of the best attended ones they’ve had this year and the space really worked very, very well,” King said.

Thallemer said the space was very conducive to the event and inviting to all the participants.

• Approved to extend the land lease for Tom Farms to farm airport land for an additional year at the same rate they’ve paid for the last three years. The current lease ends Dec. 31. Board members agreed to the extension reluctantly, saying they would prefer it be bid out, and on condition that it be bid out by June next year.

• Approved $3,600 for the appraisal of four buildings owned by the airport.

• Approved $26,457 for the replacement of three snow plows, hydraulics and lights.

• Announced the next meeting is Nov. 9.