Grimes Field to receive additional taxiway

By Joshua Keeran -

A project aimed at extending taxiway C at Grimes Field is one step closer to becoming a reality after Urbana City Council on Tuesday hired a consulting firm to see the project through, beginning with completing work needed to acquire funding through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Director of Administration Kerry Brugger said the FAA allocates $150,000 per year for Grimes Field through its improvement program, and to receive the funds the city must hire a firm to put together a final application package.

Council voted in favor of having Stantec Consulting Services Inc., Columbus, handle the design, bid and construction administration/observation for the project at a cost of $88,000. Brugger said AIP funds will cover 90 percent of the cost, leaving the city with a bill of $8,800.

The remaining $62,000 in 2016 AIP funds will go toward the construction phase in which taxiway C will be extended to taxiway B, Brugger added.

During past council meetings, Brugger said extending taxiway C will not only relieve congestion by providing an alternate route to the hangars, but also provide the asphalt path needed to reach an area of Grimes Field designated for future construction of additional T-hangars.

Last year’s AIP funds were used to crack seal the taxiways.

Grimes Field fuel farm

To keep aviation fuel at the airport at a competitive price to entice more pilots to refuel at Grimes Field instead of elsewhere, council authorized the reduction of $100,000 from the city’s current purchase order with Purvis Brothers Fuel for aviation fuel in favor of splitting the budgeted funds into two $50,000 blanket purchase orders – one with Epic Aviation LLC and one with Eastern Aviation Fuels Inc.

Director of Finance Chris Boettcher said creating the blanket purchase orders between different aviation fuel providers gives the city the opportunity to shop for lower prices.

Before March 1, the city was bound by contract to purchase its aviation fuel from Purvis Brothers Fuel until the company was paid in full for upgrades it made to the Grimes Field fuel farm in 2015. To give Grimes Field Manager Lou Driever the ability to shop for a more competitive aviation fuel supplier,council last month agreed to pay $18,608.26 to retire the debt with Purvis Brothers Fuel.

In other business:

•Council approved a resolution allowing the mayor or his designated representative to submit an application to the Champaign County Commission to participate in the fiscal year 2016 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Community Development Program.

Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said last year’s CDBG funds are helping to fund the upcoming North Oakland Street Curbs and Walks Phase 1 Project in which the sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and catch basins will be replaced on both sides of North Oakland Street from Miami Street to West Church Street.

If the city is awarded fiscal year 2016 CDBG funds, Crabill said, they would be used for phase two of the project, which would include the next block of North Oakland Street from West Church Street to West Ward Street.

•Mayor Bill Bean read two mayoral proclamations, proclaiming April 16 as Healthy Kids Day and April 10-16 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Bean said that during the annual Healthy Kids Day event scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on April 16 at Urbana University, he will lead a 2-mile walk around the city that will depart from the university around 10:30 a.m.

•Council authorized the purchase of 500 tons of road salt from the Detroit Salt Company at a cost of $35,025. The city secured the road salt at a rate of $70.05 per ton through its participation in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s cooperative salt purchasing program.

•Council heard the second reading of a resolution authorizing Brugger to submit an application to participate in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Natureworks Grant Program.

If awarded the grant, the funds would be used for the purchase and installation of a PVC membrane liner for the large pool at the municipal pool, Boettcher said. She added the city recently paid nearly $6,000 for a PVC membrane liner for the baby pool, and the liner for the large pool is expected to cost close to $50,000.

It’s anticipated the grant, if awarded, would cover half the cost of the liner.

“It’s definitely something that needs to be done if we are going to maintain the city pool,” Council member Doug Hoffman said.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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