Fulton engineer updates airport board on runway expansion project, sign for U.S. 54

Board also interviews four finalists for new airport manager position

City Engineer Greg Hayes told Fulton's Airport Advisory Board he still wasn't sure if the city would get a 95-percent Missouri Department of Transportation grant for widening Runway 06-24 at the city airport, but plans for the project have moved forward.

Hayes explained he, MoDOT officials and representatives from consulting firm Crawford Murphy & Tilly hired to draft the airport rehabilitation project met to discuss the best options for widening and resurfacing the runway.

"The first option is complete replacement of the materials," Hayes said. "We had considered fly ash, but the consultants said they'd never had a problem with lime and they'd much rather use that."

"The second option is instead of trying to strip the material, we grind it up and use it as part of the runway. The biggest problem with that was the gradation of the material, MoDOT said it doesn't quit meet the specs. The third is using the existing asphalt and overlaying, there are concerns with (cracking)."

Hayes said MoDOT was "still discussing amongst themselves" whether the funds were available to issue Fulton a 95-percent grant, leaving the city to cover just 5 percent of the cost of the new airport plan.

Hayes also discussed potentially partnering with MoDOT to install airport signs along U.S. Highway 54 through Fulton. He said that if the city could produce the signs and MoDOT could install them, the city could promote the airport at little cost.

"It would be semi-inexpensive, and at least it would let the every-day citizen on the highway know 'hey, Fulton has an airport,'" he said.

Plans for promoting the airport was also one of the questions the board posed of its candidates for the airport manager.

The board and city officials also met the four finalists for the new airport manager position. As the city is redefining the position, each candidate gave his proposal for how he would treat the job if hired.

Candidates interviewed were Mike Newman, Jim Hutson, Gary Bedford and Doug Behrick.

Hayes told the City Council at a previous meeting he hoped to have a recommendation for the council to approve by June. The new hire would replace Travis St. John, who retired earlier this year. The airport is currently under Interim Manager Nick Prinster.

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