Commissioners hire engineer for airport


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners are starting over with the Darke County Airport fuel farm. Plans had been in the works to install a new fuel farm, but numerous delays have caused the county to terminate the contractor originally hired to do the work and now the commissioners have terminated the engineering firm hired to perform work on the fuel farm.

Darke County Commissioners Matt Aultman, Marshall Combs and Larry Holmes were in agreement with the termination. According to the Letter of Termination, the county is required to provide a seven-day written notice to terminate the relationship with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. Aultman said, “We’ve had some changes, some consternations with that whole project. We bid it out twice. We’ve cancelled both of those contracts and were going to bid it out again. So, to start over fresh we’re cancelling everything, starting from scratch.”

Commissioners also approved Butler, Fairman & Seufert, of Indianapolis, Ind. as the new engineer for the Darke County Airport. According to Aultman, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. will complete the projects they are currently working on and Butler, Fairman & Seufert will work on all new projects, including the fuel farm.

Aultman shared it took a while to come to a decision to go with Butler, Fairman & Seufert as the new engineering firm for the airport. They requested qualifications from engineering firms and received qualifications from Butler, Fairman & Seufert and Crawford, Murphy & Tilly. After meeting with both firms and meeting with the new engineering firm a couple of times, they decided to move forward with the new company. Aultman said Butler, Fairman & Seufert is providing services for several nearby airports, and they are well acquainted with what rural airports need. The contract with Butler, Fairman & Seufert is for three years.

The commission also moved forward with developing a Master Plan for the Darke County Airport. The last time a Master Plan for the airport was developed was in 2009. According to Aultman, the FAA prefers to have a new plan developed every 20 years. Because developing the plan will take approximately 18 months, the commission felt now was the time to begin the process.

Aultman pointed to several new additions to the airport since the last Master Plan as a reason for moving forward with the project now, including the addition of CareFlight, NetJets, as well as Midmark’s increased use of the airport. Aultman also cited the need for work on some of the hangars or the need to build new hangars.

With the approval of the Notice to Professional Engineering Consultants, the commission will seek companies wanting to help the county develop the Master Plan. The notice will be published.

The county commissioners also wrote a letter of support for Eldora Speedway to build a tunnel under State Route 118. The tunnel would be used by pedestrians and would help alleviate some of the safety concerns the racetrack witnesses during its race weekends. All three commissioners were in support of the proposal.

The commissioners approved the list of appointments to the Public Defender Commission. New to the board is attorney Nicole Pohlman who is replacing John Marchal, Jr. Also on the commission are Alexandria Horner, Mike Henry, Scott Zumbrink and Ryan Dynes.

The next regular meeting of the Darke County Commissioners is Tuesday, Jan. 30, 1:30 p.m., at the Darke County Administration Building, 520 S. Broadway, Greenville.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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