BUCYRUS — Land donated by a local family will save taxpayers money for rehabilitation at the Port Bucyrus-Crawford County Airport.
The 5.534 acres of land, donated by the R. Duane and Inez Hord family, will become part of the clear space that is required by the Federal Aviation Administration. The value of the land is $6,505.24 per acre, and is considered by the FAA as the city’s 10 percent portion, $16,180, of the $161,180 project. “
This is a wonderful gift to the city. It not only allows us to provide our share for this year’s project, but the balance of the value of the land left over after this project can be used for future projects. We are very grateful,” council president Sis Love said.
City safety-service director Jeff Wagner said the Hangar Taxiway Pavement Rehabilitation Project is out for bid.
“The project includes pavement removal, crack sealing, bituminous tack coat and surface course and improvements to drainage. Bids will be open for the project on July 7,” Wagner said.
Kevin DeTray, who has been the manager of the airport since 1982, said rehabilitation of the taxiway is needed after the severe winter, adding the project will begin soon.
“The project should be underway by late July or early August,” DeTray said. DeTray said the airport’s first paved runway was dedicated in 1966.
“The airport has been here since the 1920s, but the planes landed and took off from a grass field,”DeTray said.
DeTray said the airport is a busier place than people realize.
“The number of planes based at the airport is 34, either hangared or tied down,” DeTray said. “Even though there are other airports in the vicinity, we have planes housed here from Crawford County along with surrounding areas, such as Mansfield, Marion and Shelby.”
The airport has 32 units to keep aircraft in.
“We have four rows of T-hangars. Each of the buildings have eight units to keep aircraft in. There are also two corporate hangars,” DeTray said.
Both of the corporate hangars are owned by the Hord family. “One of those is the former Baja Boats hangar,” DeTray said.
DeTray said all of the hangars are privately owned, except one.
“One is a storage hangar that is owned by the city,” DeTray said.
DeTray said the airport provides a huge benefit to the community.
“We have people who fly in to attend meetings in town. While they are here, they stay at local hotels, eat at area restaurants and make purchases at local stores,” DeTray said. “We also have people who fly in to go to Carle’s to pick up bratwurst.”
DeTray also is the owner of DeTray Aviation, one of three flight schools at the airport. The other two include Larry Grin’s Leading Edge Flight Training and Ballou Skies Aviation, owned by Peg Ballou, who has three planes based at the airport.
“The airport is very important to our community’s economic development. The airport is used for business often and is needed,” Ballou said.
The Hord family, who own and operate Hord Livestock Company, use the airport to fly in and out of town for business meetings across the country.
“We are very supportive of the airport and what it can do to support local industry and also the local use for recreation. We wanted to give back to the community,” R. Duane Hord about his reasons for donating the land.
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