Lanett Awards Bid for Airport Runway
LANETT — The Lanett City Council has awarded a contract for just under $2.5 million and an alternate bid of just over $580,000 to W.S. Newell & Sons Inc., Montgomery, for a major expansion at the Lanett Airport. The Newell bid was the only one received that met specifications. A second one arrived three minutes past the bid opening deadline and could not be considered under state law. Project consultant Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood recommended going ahead with the contract. GM&C representative Ryan Pearce told the council that the Newell bid was a good one.
“Everything is in line with what we were thinking,” he said. “Newell is a very capable firm, and they will be able to get the needed equipment here.” Trees have already been cut at the site. The next phase will involve at least six months of draining and grading. An estimated 300,000 yards of material will be brought in along with 40,000 yards of sand. This will provide the base for the paving that will be going in next year. The alternate plan will place stone across the 4,400-foot new runway site. Pearce said the road leading to the airport off Cusseta Road will be kept open and safe to drive on during this construction phase. There’s an anticipated start time of late August or early September. Ninety-five percent of the costs for this project will be funded by the federal and state governments. The new runway will be 75 feet wide and 4,400 feet long. The existing runway will remain as a taxiway for planes that have landed or are about to take off. It’s 3,165 feet long and 75 feet wide.
“We have been working on this project for several years and are getting really close to getting it under way,” Pearce said. Mayor Kyle McCoy said he was pleased to have gotten some good prices with the bids. “We’re extremely happy about that,” he said. In other business at the Monday meeting, the council approved a resolution to seek bids for a new fire truck and a remount for an ambulance. Chief Johnny Allen said that a new pumper truck is needed to replace one that’s been in service since 1992. Ambulance remounts are needed every four or five years to stay up to date on service needs. Some costs are saved by taking an existing ambulance box and placing it on a new chassis. The council approved another resolution authorizing Mayor McCoy to sign documents allowing the city to participate in the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAG) purchasing cooperative. Chief Allen explained that this is a procurement method that’s approved by the state and being used by a growing number of Alabama cities to help save money on the purchases of big pieces of equipment.
“It gives you mass purchasing power,” Allen said. “The bids go national.” Charlie Williams Jr., Cameron Reed and John Kitchens were present at the meeting to talk about the city’s summer youth recreation program. Thus far, sports such as flag football, soccer and racquetball have been played.
“We’ve been emphasizing sports other than basketball,” Williams said. “Basketball will live forever around here.” (The summer league gets started this week). At least 200 children have been participating in these programs.
“People are calling me every day to get their child signed up,” Williams said. “We’re having very good participation, and that’s good. It’s better than having kids sitting around the house doing nothing.” A grant program helps provide meals for the children every day they’re there.
“We’re having a great time this summer at the recreation center,” Cameron Reed said. “We have classes where we talk to kids about leadership and character. We talk to them about being good team players and not being selfish. We’ve been taking them on field trips in the city. Tomorrow we’ll be going to the fire department.”
John Kitchens talked about the pool program.
“It’s a very active program with lots of participation,” he said. Sessions take place from 1-5 p.m. every day. Prior to the start of the summer season, some repairs were made at the pool. It was repainted with a new city seal being painted at the bottom of the pool. Mayor McCoy asked Williams how many children are participating in some kind of youth program in the city.
“We have between 350 and 400 kids every day coming through in one program or another,” he said. “Those are excellent numbers,” McCoy said. “This is a pilot program. There’s been no charge this year. We don’t know if we can continue that in future years. We just wanted to have a lot of activity this year. It’s good to have them doing something from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. every week day.”
Council Member Charles Looser thanked city crews for coming out in the rain last week to restore power after it got knocked out in a storm. Council Member Angelia Thomas thanked Street and Water Department workers for taking care of some problems in her district. Mayor McCoy welcomed Utility Department Superintendent David DeLee to the meeting. He’d been out of work approximately three weeks while recovering from recent shoulder surgery.
– By WAYNE CLARK Times-News News Editor