Thursday, January 12, 2012

Council gives green light to infrastructure improvements at RNA

By Mayor Bill Jenks, III
Realizing the importance of sound and adequate infrastructure not only for the City’s wastewater treatment plants, streets, sidewalks, sewers and bridges, the Rolla City Council recently gave the green light for a preliminary engineering analysis to be conducted regarding the water and sewer service at Rolla National Airport.The airport is located13 miles north of Rolla off U.S. Hwy. 63 in Maries County.
After the review of seven proposals (Request for Qualifications) submitted by area engineering firms to conduct the preliminary engineering analysis, Integrity Engineering was selected and approved by the City Council during the Jan. 4 Council meeting. The cost for Integrity Engineering to conduct the preliminary design work and provide an estimate is $25,000. Intercounty Electric has committed to paying up to $12,500 toward the analysis and the Rolla Regional Economic Commission (R.R.E.C.) agreed to split 50% of the balance up to $7,500 with the City of Rolla and the Rolla Community Development Corporation (R.C.D.C). The $25,000 will provide the City with an analysis, plans, and options for a water and sewer system that would accommodate industrial development at the airport.
The City of Rolla is also preparing to file a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to address water and sewer infrastructure needs that, if corrected, could foster private sector investment for the airport. In December 2011, the City issued a Request for Proposal for professional grant administration services to over 30 consultants. The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) responded with a proposal, and since they were the only consultant to reply, and MRPC has been contracted by the City to provide this type of service multiple times, continuously demonstrating their expertise to fulfill all requirements at a cost competitive price, it was staff’s recommendation to award the contract to MPRC. The Council unanimously approved staff’s recommendation at the Jan. 4 Council meeting.
Rolla National Airport, which has two 5,500-foot runways, a refueling station, pilot’s lounge and several T-hangers, is also the home of Baron Aviation, the largest employer at the airport. Baron operates a fleet of 33 FedEx Caravans. In addition, Airport Manager Darrin Bacon said his staff frequently sees aircraft owned by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Kingsford Charcoal, Wal-Mart, Inc., Colton’s Steakhouse, Garmin International, Caterpillar, Inc., and many others landing at Rolla National. In addition there are several private pilots and military pilots with the Missouri National Guard and Fort Leonard Wood who use the airport on a regular basis.
In closing I’d like to remind everyone that the Rolla City Council meeting ordinarily held the third Monday of the month, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (901 North Elm Street).
The City of Rolla Environmental Services Department will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday. Monday’s trash will be picked up on Tuesday and Tuesday’s trash will be picked up Wednesday. There will be no special pick-ups on Wednesday. If you have any questions, please call 364-6693.
Have a safe week!

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