Board OKs purchase of fuel trucks for 61 South airport

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pending a final inspection, the purchase of two government surplus fuel trucks for use at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport on U.S. 61 South was approved by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen in a special meeting Monday.

The city currently leases fuel trucks from airport manager Frank May for $1,200 a month. The two trucks in Jackson will cost the city $30,800. One is a 1986 model capable of holding 2,400 gallons of fuel, while the second is a 1988 model with a 5,000 gallon capacity. Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor Barry Warnock was to travel to Jackson Monday to inspect the fuel trucks and give his recommendation.

Additionally, the aldermen — in the absence of Mayor Laurence Leyens — approved allowing a manufactured building to be placed on airport property to serve as a temporary terminal while the current terminal is remodeled.

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The city received about $1.3 million in federal grant money following Hurricane Katrina to build a new fire station at the airport. The money was a part of the total $5.2 million awarded to Warren County and city officials decided to incorporate that grant with replacement of the 1950 terminal.

The cost of new construction, said South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman, has changed that plan and the city will remodel the existing terminal rather than build a new one.

Beauman said the cost estimates for the project generated by Jackson-based architects Dale and Associates came in at around $3.7 million.

“We told them to stop right there once we heard the price, and asked them to go back to the drawing board,” said Beauman. “The fire station will be new construction, but we’re going to go ahead with remodeling the existing terminal.”

The city did not give Dale and Associates a deadline to come back with a revised estimate and design, but Beauman said he thought it would be soon.

He added the board has also asked the company to come up with a shorter time line for construction of the fire station.

“They had estimated it would take a year and a half, but we are hoping to have it done before that,” he said.

On Monday, the board also approved one budget amendment, transferring $5,500 into the animal control contractor provided services fund for animal control in the 2007-08 fiscal year, which ends today.

The Vicksburg Municipal Airport Board will meet at the airport on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for its regular monthly meeting.

The city also subsidizes operations of Vicksburg Tallulah Regional Airport at Mound with co-owners Warren County, Madison Parish and Tallulah.

There, a federally funded parallel taxiway and instrument landing system are being completed.