MURRAY – The Murray-Calloway County Airport Board discussed various facility improvement plans at its regular annual meeting last week, as well as how the board plans to pay for them.
Board Chairman Bob Futrell updated the board on the amount of money Kyle-Oakley Field Airport has received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act since the last board meeting in April 2021 .
“We’ve received quite a bit of CARES money since the pandemic started,” Futrell said. “On August 2, 2021, we got $13,000. Additionally, we received $32,000 on March 9, 2022.”
Futrell added that these funds are in addition to the $30,000 the airport received in early 2021, which was recorded in the minutes of last April’s board meeting. He said the money was used to purchase a tow tractor and fund several improvements at the airport. He added that CARES money is not earmarked for a specific project.
Futrell also told the board about the revenue it generates from the land it leases to farmers, saying it received $42,000 from those leases in 2021. The airport owns about 5,000 acres, and Futrell said the board leases part of the land to help pay for airport operations.
The board discussed repairs to Hangar 1, which Futrell says is the oldest hangar at the airport and is located closest to the runway. Airport manager Anthony Young said a microburst during a storm blew the hangar doors off about a month ago.
The board discussed its Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP), which Futrell described as a “five-year wish list” for facility improvements the board wants to make. The board is required to update the ACIP for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) every year, but Futrell said the document is non-binding and the order of priority of projects can be changed at any time by the board. Some of the elements of this year’s ACIP include acquiring more land and replacing the fuel system by 2027.
Futrell said the airport receives $150,000 each year from the federal government, but it doesn’t have to spend it all in a single year, so it can carry over money to save for big projects in the future. Young said the airport has three years to spend each payment it receives.
In the new business part of the meeting, Futrell said he had written a grant proposal for new Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPIs) and Runway End Identification Lights (REILs). He said this project should be put out to tender because it would exceed $30,000, the state’s procurement threshold for small purchases. He said he had filled out another grant application for pilot control lighting, and it should cost around $20,000 or less, so it wouldn’t have to be bid, he said. .
Futrell asked the rest of the board what they thought of purchasing airport Wi-Fi security cameras that could be controlled remotely via a smartphone. The council accepted this idea and voted in favor of council member Craig Fortenberry’s motion asking Young to consider the availability and options for installing cameras that could show the parking lot area. Young was also asked to plan the most suitable location to install the cameras.
The board also briefly discussed a bill that members would like to see become law that would exempt non-commercial aircraft from property taxes. Futrell said Kentucky’s current tax code has led some nonprofit airports to store planes in Tennessee, and he thanked Fortenberry for writing a letter to the state supporting the legislation. However, Futrell said State Representative Mary Beth Imes (R-Murray) told him the bill did not make it out of committee in the 2022 session.
The board ended the meeting with an executive session to discuss the airport manager’s salary before proceeding to a vote. After returning to regular session, the board voted to increase pay by 6% and also to allow the director to use a shed — which typically costs $100 a month to rent — at no cost in the future.