Airport project close to bidding

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The Walker County Commission heard Monday from County Engineer Michael Short that he had been notified that morning bids for the paving project at the Walker County Airport-Bevill Field are ready to be advertised. 

The project will create an entrance around the boundary of the new parking area so cars can be taken off the apron and prevent vehicles from being generally where planes are supposed to be, he said. 

District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis said the project is a large project that is important for safety concerns at the facility, adding that two designated parking areas will be at the airport at the project's conclusion. 

He also said the recently announced  $1 million federal grant for lighting at the airport will also lead to an important upgrade. Short said the project replaces original runway lighting installed 30 years ago that is wearing out. 

In other business, the commission: 

•voted to keep the July 1 commission meeting on the schedule, but to allow county workers to be off on Friday, July 5. It was noted Gov. Kay Ivey had also agreed to allow state workers off on July 5, which, combined with the July 4 holiday, will allow workers to be off for four days. 

•heard from County Administrator Robbie Dickerson that budget packets were sent the previous Friday to department heads to prepare for the Fiscal 2020 budget. 

•heard from Dickerson that the county hit an 80 percent mark for a wellness screening, which helps to get the county preferred insurance rates. 

•heard from Dickerson that a new server had been installed. 

•heard from Short that Jasper Water Works is installing new water lines on Empire Road, opposite from the side of the road where a line now exists involving two different projects in two different fiscal years. "I think the first one is from the three-way stop back towards Sumiton and next year will be, I think, from the Hill Road back toward the county line," he said. The work is being done in a way so that service is not interrupted. 

•heard from Short that the Fall City Road paving plans are going through a process and is hopefully close to being let for bids by state officials. The Nauvoo Road and Empire Road projects will be slower due to the type of work that is being done, such as lighting and culvert work. "They are in the process and the state is aware of them," Short said. 

•approved an annual license agreement for use of the old airport with the Jasper Viking Toy Bowl, after resolving an insurance problem. The terms allow for use retroactively to March 1 this year to April 30, 2020. 

•voted for a renewal of a contract with Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) with no changes. 

•agreed to a low bid for bituminous surface treatment from Charles E. Watts, Inc. in Gadsden. Three bids were sent out but only Watts sent a bid back, Short said, noting it is the largest provider in the state. 

•voted for a budget amendment for the Reappraisal Department, which involves telephone and internet service. The change does not increase or decrease spending, basically making it a line item shift to track cell phone expenditures separate from landline expenditures, Dickerson said.