The growth of Durant Regional Airport - both in the sky and on the ground, so to speak – were topics of discussion and action for Durant City Council on Tuesday.
One item discussed under the auspices of the council’s role as Durant Airport Authority resulted in a vote to “continue with plans to construct hangar access” at the airport, also known as Eaker Field.
Public Works Director Jerry Yandell indicated there was some urgency to increase hangar space at the airfield. He said the field was now home to 77 planes, as opposed to the 55 planes which called Eaker Field home just a few short years ago.
“We are busting at the seams,” he said. “We’re looking at trying to get airport storage any way we can.” He said a grant was in place to provide more hangar access. Two types of hangars are planned to accommodate a variety of aircraft. All of this goes hand in hand with runway extension plans which will make the airfield accessible to more types of aircraft.
The other airport-related issues were of a more earth-bound nature. The council approved a grant application for Community Development Block Grant funds to rehabilitate the airport water tower, as well as a Durant Industrial Authority loan to PharmcareOK to occupy an airport-area facility. (This issue was reported in Tuesday’s Democrat.)
The city will apply for $90,654 in federal CDBG funds to rehabilitate the water tower, a sum that requires a dollar-for-dollar city match. The city will do that and more, as the project is estimated to cost around $312,000 including engineering and a new fence.
As reported Tuesday, DIA proposes a $520,000 loan to PharmcareOK to create 52 jobs at a facility on Waldron Drive in the airport industrial area. The council approved this loan proposal at Tuesday’s meeting, and the loan has a payback period of 10 years.
In other business Tuesday, Durant City Council took the following action:
• Approval of a roofing bid for Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library. The structure has been open 14 months but has been susceptible to leaks during heavy downpours.
• Approval of new city ward boundaries to reflect the 2010 census. City Attorney Pat Phelps said there was not much deviation from existing boundaries, perhaps “a block or two” to equalize votes to reflect new census data.
• Approval of a resolution for an annual permit adjustment to the itinerant merchant fee schedule.
• Approval of contracts for janitorial services at four city facilities. • Approval for city officials to “seek proposals and select a professional service provider to complete an analysis for long term water supply and demand for the City of Durant.”
• Approval of organizational changes to the recreation department, specifically related to park concessions. • Approval of a bid award for seal coating and striping at Durant Multi Sports Complex. • Approval of a conditional use permit for Chihowa Oklahoma United Methodist Church to construct a building (with brick façade) at 3210 N. 1st Ave.
The council also presented employee service awards to 13 city employees, who will be featured in this newspaper throughout the week. The next regularly scheduled meeting of Durant City Council will be on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. at Durant City Hall, 300 W. Evergreen St.