While the buzz surrounding Tuesday’s airport board meeting centered around the potential new name for the 318 million dollar gamechanger, it was talk of grass and sod that dominated the meeting. In fact, due to the overwhelming interest in the new name, a special meeting, to be held October 7th, will address that issue specifically. Although, many attending the meeting didn’t get what they came for, the very tense discussion on the condition of soil and stabilization of areas through the airport kept everyone’s attention.
James Phoenix, from Phoenix Construction, said with a pang of exasperation in his voice, “We’ve got some issues, multiple issues and we need help.”
Heavy rain and inconclusive studies on the soil at the airport site have caused the development of large areas to be completely reworked and the bill to keep rising. Large stretches of land, nearly 1400 hundred acres worth, which was believed to be stabilized, faltered under harsh rain causing all the grass to die off. Runway areas and ditches in need of regrading, have caused the most problems for site staff. “The soil condition is not what we anticipated,” said George Roberts of PBS&J, “The grass is growing and then dying off from a lack of organics. We cannot make the grass grow within the specs.”
The suggestion from airport representatives to sod the area was met with heavy contention from the board. Mr. Bill Cramer, Vice Chairman of the airport board, questioned the airport staff as to why the board was not notified of the issues in compliance with permits and what happened to the additional $500,000 dollars added to the budget to mitigate the problems.
Although no final word was reached, sodding the 1400 hundred acres could cost an additional $1 million dollars. Recommendations will be brought to the board and discussed in the coming meeting.
In other news, the airport is reported to be at 73% complete overall with 93% of the site development package completed.
The next board meeting is scheduled for October 7th