NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council discussed expansion of the Newberry County Airport apron and also an ordinance to authorize a lease-purchase agreement at its July 16 meeting.
First reading of Ordinance #07-11-14 passed unanimously to authorize and equipment lease-purchase agreement in the amount not exceeding $1,265,000. In years past, the county used the agreement to buy fire trucks, ambulances and rescue equipment.
This year the funding is being used for upgrades to fire service radio in a simulcast repeater system and for 24 breathing apparatuses and two modular ambulances among other supplies.
The unanimous decision extends a rolling stock replacement tool for an additional year . The rolling stock was delayed for a year due to county needs. The motion passed unanimously.
Council considered two bids for airport apron expansion and rehabilitation, one from Satterfield Construction for $969,851.20 and one from McClam and Associates for $1,032,405.60.
County Administrator Wayne Adams said the county was obligated to fund $56,242 and the state could match that amount. A South Carolina Aeronautics Commission and Federal Aviation Authority Grant would provide grant funding for the $1.1 million project. A resolution for council to accept grant funding passed unanimously.
Troop Partridge, appointee to the Airport Commission by the Newberry County Legislative Delegation, addressed county council during public comments and thanked council for having vision and standing by the airport.
“Where else for $56,000 in contributions could one receive over $1 million in return?” he asked.
Patridge mentioned work to be done to the terminal building and in other areas.
“There is no better way to support the economy than having the airport as a magnet to attract industry,” he said.
Cain mentioned the importance the airport has to the economic future of the county and the region.
“The Newberry County Airport makes a continuous loop of infrastructure with (regard to) logistical issues…. A big piece of this (is enabling industries to have tools in addition to train or truck) for just in time delivery,” Cain said.
He elaborated on the economic development committee’s comprehensive approach to advancing the county using railroad, interstate highways, an upgraded airport and the county mega site as tools. An expanded runway apron would allow industry to use planes for delivery.
In other business:
• Newberry County Finance Director Debbie Cromer shared Ervin West’s update on capital projects and said the county continues to look into marketing the U.S. 219 property where the old sheriff’s office building stood .
• County council went into executive session for contractual matters concerning contractual agreements related to property sales. No action items were voted upon after council emerged from executive session.
• County council will not meet on Aug. 6 due to the South Carolina Association of Counties holding its annual meeting/retreat then.
• Council passed a resolution to honor Cleo Epting Wise on her 105th birthday.
• The following appointments were made: Dewitt McDuffie, Joint Planning Commission; Tammy Kitchens, Accommodations Tax Committee; Bob Burch, NCMH Board of Trustees.. The three appointments passed unanimously.
• The following employees were honored for years of service: Gary Ball, five years, custodial services; Autrice Griffin, 10 years, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office; Sharon McClanahan, 10 years with NCSO; Teresa Powers, 10 years as Newberry County Director of Economic Development; and Judy Sanders, 20 years service for the magistrate’s office.