Whether on business or recreation, people involved in the local aviation scene are taking note of major improvements this summer at the Rush City Regional Airport.
The Rush City Council on April 13 accepted bids for rehabilitating the runway; crack sealing on the taxiway, access road and parking lot; and relocating the airport beacon. These projects, along with a contract with engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. to administer the job, is projected to take 60 days in July and August.
Joel Dresel, from SEH, said the estimated $911,000 project will not interfere with the airport’s annual Fly-In event, scheduled on the Sunday before Father’s Day on June 14. In fact, construction is not set to begin until the end of July or the beginning of August, and the runway will be closed for about a month.
The improvements will be funded by a Federal Aviation Administration grant, covering about 90 percent of the project, and a state grant at 5 percent or approximately $50,000, Dresel explained. With 95 percent presumably accounted for, the city will cover the difference.
For the runway rehab portion, councilors considered quotes from four firms who all bid under the engineer’s estimate of $988,894. They went with Harddrives Inc., based in Rogers, Minnesota, whose bid was the lowest at $717,171.
Brainerd-based Anderson Brothers Construction was selected for the crack sealing job. At $27,799, the company’s bid was by far the lowest and about $10,000 under the estimate.
For relocating the airport beacon, the council again went with the low bid and chose Egan Company, out of New Hope, Minnesota. In contrast to the other two projects, this company’s quote of $68,775 quote exceeded the engineer’s estimate by about $22,000.
In addition, the city will compensate SEH $97,400 for its consulting role in the project.
City water, private wells
Following a public meeting on the issue, the council ultimately agreed to further review proposed changes to the city ordinance relating to the city water system and private wells.
One of the suggestions is requiring a water connection if city water mains are within a certain number of feet from a property with a home or building. Another proposed section deals with allowable use of private wells, which are not allowed in the city except where municipal water is not available.
No one from the public weighed in on the issue.