Aldermen help pay for fence at airport

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday evening’s Board of Aldermen meeting kicked off with the Poplarville-Pearl River County Airport Board notifying Aldermen of a recently completed fencing project.

Airport Board member Bennie Sellers said they discovered a large patch of untouched land at the airport on the north side of the runway that belongs to the Airport Board.

After investigation, it was learned that the airport purchased the land in the early 1960s, Sellers said.

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Without running it by the Board of Aldermen, the airport decided to go ahead with the fencing project, which cost roughly $26,000. But because the FAA covers 90 percent of the cost, Sellers and others of the Airport Board asked the Aldermen to cover the remaining $2,539.

“Because we have already adopted the budget, we need to know in advance of anything that could affect the budget,” Alderwoman Shirley Wilshire said.

Despite not proactively notifying the Aldermen of the project, members approved a motion to cover the remaining costs of the work.

“The facilities are beautiful at the airport, so we commend you for that. We just ask that next time you provide us time to discuss any projects before you go ahead and make changes like this,” Alderman Tony Smith said.

The newly discovered property of the airport is roughly 2,000 feet long and 200 feet wide.

The fence will enclose the entire airport to keep wild animals from running onto the airport property and runway.

“It’s a safety precaution,” Sellers said.

The airport also cut the trees on the property, as required by all airports.

More of the Tuesday’s Aldermen meeting will be featured in a future edition of the Item.