Clanton Council helps runway project move forward

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council approved the last document needed as a part of the environmental study for extending the Chilton County Airport runway.

Council members reviewed a letter from Garver Engineering, who is completing the environmental study, stating that the requested runway extension would not have a negative impact on the city park.

The City Council unanimously approved having the mayor sign a statement that the letter had been reviewed.

Billy Singleton of the Airport Authority said the letter from the mayor was the last document needed to complete the environment study for the runway expansion.

Last year, the council approved $50,000 each year for five years as the required local match for a Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program grant.

The runway extension would add 1,000 feet, bringing the total length of the runway to 5,000 feet. The longer runway would mean more planes used by businesses and potential industries in the area would be able to land at the airport.

With the current length, many business aircraft’s insurance stipulations will not allow them to land at the airport.

The City Council voted not to pay a bill for $6,587 from CSX Railroad for improvements made to the railroad crossing on 16th Street. Mayor Billy Joe Driver said the bill was issued based on an agreement with Chilton County in 1928 before the land was annexed into the city limits.

“In 90 years, we have never received (a) bill … They are responsible between the tracks and plus 18 inches on each side,” Driver said.

City Attorney John Hollis Jackson said annexing the property into the city did not automatically bind the city to the county’s prior agreement with CSX.

The improvements to the crossing were made in July 2017.

Also during the meeting, The Council:

— Approved paying $30,000 to the Chilton/ Clanton Public Library as its quarterly contribution. An additional $1,000 was approved as a potential local match to a grant for which the library has applied.

— Approved paying $61,604 to Clark Equipment for a Bobcat excavator.