Mississippi County Commission news
CHARLESTON -- Maintenance related to safety issues is needed at the Mississippi County airport.
County commissioners reviewed a letter from the Missouri Department of Transportation during their regular meeting which advised county officials that a safety and compliance inspection was conducted Sept. 12 for the Federal Aviation Administration by MoDOT.
The letter, signed by Jason Knipp, airport safety inspector, notes several conditions that do not conform to FAA regulations, standards and recommendations for airports, many of which were noted in previous inspections.
"It was unfortunate to arrive at the airport and discover that conditions had not been improved since the previous inspection in 2004," Knipp wrote. He advised "corrective action is needed to ensure a safer airport environment."
"We've got some trees and stuff we need to get down," Commissioner Homer Oliver said.
The letter also advises of crops planted too close to the runway, Oliver noted.
"They've farmed it like that for a hundred years," Commissioner Martin Lucas said.
Knipp also noted that "all pavement at the airport is in very poor condition, especially the apron."
Other discrepancies listed in the letter include: missing markings; visual glide slope indicators in poor condition that appear to not be in operation; runway lighting not in accordance with standards; improperly spaced threshold lights at runway ends; depressions around edge lights and reflectors from the use of chemicals to control grass which can collect water and attract birds; a beacon that is not rotating; tall grass and weeds; and two large cylindrical objects lying on the west side of the runway.
Also, as the airport no longer provides fuel for the public, the fuel housing area next to the runway needs to be removed.
"To help your airport achieve reduced liability and become a safer facility, all items listed above should be corrected using FAA criteria," Knipp wrote.
Knipp advised findings will be sent to the FAA.
Oliver said commissioners will wait for Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg, who was unable to attend Thursday's meeting, to review the letter before making any decisions.
In other business Thursday:
* Lucas said a drainage pipe near the Towasahgy State Historic Site at Dorena has washed out and needs to be replaced.
"We'll have to get the water out before we put a pipe in," he said.
* Commissioners discussed recent storms. Oliver said he can't recall the last time the county got 14 inches of rain in September.
"Water moved as well as it could under the circumstances," he said, adding that the Mississippi River was down which helped some.
Other than some downed trees, the county didn't sustain a whole lot of damage from Wednesday's storm, Oliver said. "It could surely have been a lot worse," he said.
Lucas said he figured the county had 33 billion gallons of water from rain in the last 24 hours.
Oliver agreed it was "a tremendous volume of water" that the county's drainage system had to deal with.
County road and bridge crews were out all day Saturday responding to conditions caused by the storm, Oliver said.
* Lucas said contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have started preparing the site where a cofferdam will be built for construction of the St. John's Bayou-New Madrid Floodway Project's pumping station.
"The trees are going down," he said. "They're going to work."
* County officials were advised of no findings or recommendations following the single audit by Brown and Thomas CPAs, according to Emily Pullen, deputy county clerk.