Construction to begin on Kennett Airport expansion
Thursday, September 12, 2002
KENNETT -- The long-awaited expansion of Kennett Municipal Airport is expected to get under way in a matter of weeks, said Johnny Dalton, chairman of the Airport Board to the Kennett City Council on Aug. 20.
"We hope to start earth-moving after the cotton crop is out. These acres are under cultivation right now," he said. "MoDOT said they'd like us to do the earth-moving and paving in two years. So before the weather changes, hopefully we will have the earth-moving, the grading and drainage done. Then in the spring we do the paving."
Dalton said land acquisition for the expansion project is nearly compete with 210 acres under contract, leaving only a 4 1/2-acre tract to be acquired. That tract isn't currently needed and will not delay start of construction.
The existing 3,679-by-75-foot runway at the airport will be supplanted by a new 5,001-by-75-foot runway.
The airport expansion will cost about $4 million, with most of the money coming from federal and state grants, which the city has received. The city's share of the project is $400,000. That money has been raised without having to resort to a bond issue.
Dalton said $300,000 of the money came from sales of fuel at the airport. The FAA requires that money from fuel sales be used for capital improvements at airport. The remaining $100,000 was set aside by the city over a three-year period several years ago from its sales tax receipts.
Dalton said the airport terminal will remain at its current location. MoDOT had suggested it be moved to the mid-point of the new runway, which would be just off Teaco Road.
"We think the terminal area we have right now is just fine. It's keeps the terminal in town. Where MoDOT wanted the terminal area is just off the pavement if you drive down Teaco Road. We thought that would put us way out of town and decrease our visibility," said Dalton.