Mount Ida Aldermen discuss airport

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    MOUNT IDA – The airport was the point of discussion more than once as the Mount Ida City Council made their way through their monthly meeting Monday.
    Expenses at the airport both past and present took up a large portion of the meeting. Alderman Rick Farmer asked about an $18,000 disbursement from the airport fund when the council discussed the financial report.
    Mayor Jo Childress explained that the city had to make a payment to close out phase one of their project at the airport before they could move on to phase two. According to Mayor Childress, the city will be reimbursed through grant money yet to be received from phase one.
    Later in the meeting Alderman Farmer asked about the 10 percent the city was responsible for on phase  two of the airport project. Mayor Childress stated that the state would pick up the city’s part in the project.
    Mayor Childress went on to say that she had intended to hire someone to mow the property along the front of the airport, but it was too expensive. She explained that there were springs in the area which kept the ground wet.
    “If we mow it then we will have to do it two or three times a year and we just can’t do that.” Mayor Childress explained.
    Alderman Farmer inquired about the lease agreement with the superintendent of the airport and who was responsible for the upkeep of the property.
    Mayor Childress stated that it was the superintendent’s responsibility. She went on to remind the aldermen that he was in bad health and she admitted that she didn’t have the heart to push the issue with him. She added that Tracy Smith, a local resident, was helping at the airport and that Smith had been doing some bush hogging. She also told them that clearing the back part of the property was part of the phase two project.
    Alerman Farmer suggested that when the city does their next contract that they require whoever holds the lease to take out an insurance bond that would cover the cost of cleanup if they don’t keep the area mowed.
    Alderman Margaret Scurlock stated that if keeping the area mowed is in the contract then they should be keeping it clean. She then asked if their not keeping it clean was a breach of contract. Mayor Childress indicated that it probably was. Mayor Childress reiterated that she didn’t have the heart to push the issue with someone who was in bad health.
    In other business:
    The council members approved the six month budget. Melvin Simpson inquired into why the total income in the waste water budget was lower than anticipated. Brookie Mayberry stated that they had just figured it wrong.
    He also asked about the expenses which were more than half of what had been budgeted for the six month period. Mayor Childress explained that the city had replaced a pump and had to repair two others.
    Mayor Childress informed the council members that the city was working on play areas at the park. They were installing a toddler play area and they are installing new borders around the play areas. Once the new borders are in place they will bring in gravel.

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