The MidCoast Regional Airport’s local joint-management board Thursday approved re-flooring plans that have been in the works for at least three years, according to previous Courier reports.
The board entertained four different material combinations, eventually settling on a ceramic tile to be sealed with epoxy. Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas stressed the importance of using epoxy over regular grout, as the epoxy will not absorb water — a persistent problem in the airport lobby’s current flooring.
Materials and labor costs for the project total $58,826 — considerably more than the $37,500 in available funds for the project. However, Liberty County Development Authority Director of Administration and Finance Carmen Cole informed the board that funds could be re-allocated from a non-reimbursable expense account over to the operations budget, which would provide more than enough money to cover the over-age.
Cole also stressed the need to act quickly before the fiscal year ends June 30. A meeting with the contractor has been scheduled for next week, and construction will begin as soon as possible.
In other business, the board reviewed a proposed budget of $526,452 for fiscal year 2015. The budget will be officially adopted at a meeting scheduled June 30.
The board also discussed its hangar occupancy rates and fees. Hangar rentals account for a significant portion of the airport’s revenue, and the board approved a raise in its T-hangar rental rates of $25 per month — the first rental-fee increase in seven years.
“I would see no big qualm — and I’m a hangar renter — in going up $25,” MidCoast Regional Airport Director Charlie Martin said.
Conversely, the board discussed the possibility of decreasing its rental rates for occupants sharing a box hangar. The current box-hangar rate is $600 per month, which can be split between two occupants at $300 apiece. The proposed decrease — which would reduce the shared price from $300 to $275 each — would be incentive for pilots waiting for a single T-hangar slot to move temporarily into a shared box hangar until a T-hangar slot becomes available.
Also discussed was the need for restriping along apron areas. Pilots recently have complained of low visibility with current striping.
In other news, the runway-extension project is on hold until the SPLOST referendum is voted on in November.