The Lake Wales City Commission gave City Manager Ken Fields permission to execute an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for $218,189 for the lake Wales Airport rehabilitation at the commission meeting Tuesday night.
In 2013, the commission gave permission to the city for providing funding for construction of the airfield improvements bringing the total share of the project cost for FDOT to the figure. The city hopes to receive additional funds from the FAA, who is sharing in the cost of the improvements, so construction can begin by July 1.
“These are improvements that have been in the plans for the city,” said Fields on Monday. “The commission just needs to approve my entering into a contract with the state for the state’s offered funds.”
Funds are for rehabilitating the taxi-way alpha for $1, 331.968; Runway 24 safety area for $352,164 and Airport Road for $188,448.20. If the city receives the FAA grant funds this month, it will need to commit funds for the remaining quarter of the fiscal year 2013/2014 to cover any expenses incurred of $561,774.30 estimating the project at 30 percent completion of each project.
The city has already accepted the grant offer from the FAA and the FDOT for the engineering design phase for the projects.
In hopes of attracting business from the CSX Intermodal Logistics Center on State Road 60, “the airport entrance road and rail crossing are deteriorated and in need of resurfacing and rehabilitation,” says the city in justification of the project. “The project is necessary to accommodate anticipated traffic to and from the airport from the Intermodal Logistics Center.
Safety factors are given for the other two parts of the project.
Fields told the commissioners that he would be traveling to Atlanta in the next days with a group from Polk County to view the CSX facility there.
“I am sure you have noted the impact of the new center here on State Road 60 that has been open a month and the increase of tractor trailer traffic on Highway 27 ,” Field said. “This has had impact on our corridor.”
Commissioner Terrye Y. Howell was given the oath of office by the city clerk for winning the seat in the election and two new city police officers, were given the oath of office prior to the commission meeting in commission chambers.
A ceremony to install and swear in a returning police officer, Benjamin Metz was held in the commission chambers. A native of Bartow, Metz was a previous employee of the LWPD, moved to Michigan and has returned after 18 months to Florida.
In other commission business:
The city approved the amended traffic signal maintenance and compensation agreement with FDOT to allow the city compensation for maintaining the pedestrian flashing beacons and traffic warning beacons that are a part of the traffic signal system.
The city approved the bid for installation of fencing and construction of columns at Crystal Lake Park to Alan Walters Construction for $22,870.50.
Approval of special event permit for the Fourth of July Festival to be held on the shores of Lake Wailes from 2-9 p.m. July 4.
The city manager received a letter from the Lake Wales branch of the NAACP requesting the street name change of Washington to President Barack Obama Avenue.