By: Mark Hicks
CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — After several years of turbulence, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Airport is beginning to realize smoother operations.
The Airport Authority on Wednesday approved the 2011-12 audit, which showed no faults with the airport’s financial accounting and practices.
“You have a clear audit this year,” said Paul Ellis of The Thurman Campbell Group. “The financials were fairly stated, and there were no findings this year.”
Thurman Campbell has performed the airport’s audit for the past three years, and Ellis said “the controls (identified in previous audits) that have been put in place are working as designed.”
With the opening of a new terminal last year and more fuel sales from increased corporate jet traffic, the airport at Outlaw Field has progressed beyond having to manage a trailer park as part of its operation and a former employee accused of stealing more than $100,000 over a 5 1/2-year period.
The airport board approved several other items on its agenda.
• Members approved hiring the R.W. Armstrong engineering firm with a five-year contract for consulting and planning at the airport.
• The board approved switching the airport’s accounting system to Munis, which is the system used by the county’s Accounts and Budgets Department. Also, the system allows for tracking point-of-sale transactions and will generate financial statements that are accepted statewide. The move will not cost the airport anything because the system is licensed under the county.
• Approval was granted to move a total of $14,800 in two budget line items for salaries of two new full-time employees. The employees were brought on as temporary employees but are now filling two vacant positions.
• $15,200 was approved to upgrade an above-ground fuel storage tank, so fuel from underground tanks can be transferred to it as the tanks below the surface are removed.
• Board members voted to not allow a developer to divert water to a sinkhole at the edge of the airport property as drainage for an adjacent subdivision project.
Airport Manager John Patterson updated the board on various ongoing projects at the airport, including a grant to make upgrades to the concrete apron.
The original $1.2 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division was to include a 10 percent local match that was budgeted previously. Because of changes in Aeronautics policy, the local match was adjusting to 5 percent, which allows for the amount to double to $2.4 million, he said.
The larger amount will complete all work needed on the apron, rather than just a portion that would have been achieved with the $1.2 million grant, Patterson said.
He also reported that a previous contract has been canceled for an Airport Overlay Plan required for the airport’s long-term plan, and a new contract would be issued to include necessary growth and safety planning in late January.
And with the hiring of R.W. Armstrong, a Runway Overlay Design will move forward to improve the primary runway’s condition and safety, Patterson said.