Airport expansion plan takes flight

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

The Clovis Municipal Airport expansion got off the ground Thursday as the Clovis City Commission approved the Airport Action Plan and an agreement for design of the 1,800-foot runway extension.

ASCG Incorporated of New Mexico was awarded the runway contract for $238,508, with the Federal Aviation Administration paying 95 percent and the city and state each paying 2.5 percent.

The question remains which airline will serve Clovis travelers as the Commission tabled a vote to award the Essential Air Service contract until its Feb. 15 meeting. Two airlines submitted proposals: Great Lakes Aviation, which currently provides air service, and Pacific Wings Airlines.

The Clovis Civil Aviation Board agreed at its meeting Tuesday to recommend the city extend its contract with Great Lakes Aviation, although Pacific Wings had underbid it by some $210,000 for the federally subsidized contract.

Action on the contract award was tabled because the attorney for Pacific Wings advised the city Thursday the airline would appeal the recommendation. Attorney Randall Harris said he and Pacific Wings’ president, Greg Kahlstorf, would address the commission at the Feb. 15 meeting.

Airport Director Steve Summers told commissioners the master plan was developed in May 2006 but put on hold when the new mission for Cannon Air Force Base was announced. Summers said the FAA recommended adopting the plan “as is,” with the understanding it will be updated after the new mission starts in October.

The plan identifies development projects for the next five years, including the runway extension.

The commission also authorized approximately $164,500 for improving the wastewater treatment plant. Public Works Director Harry Wang explained the improvements were needed to the 20-year-old facility because it has “a lot of problems” and “some problems can be fatal.”

Camp Dresser & McKee was hired at a cost of about $64,500 to evaluate the condition of the facility, including the treatment process and mechanical, structural, electrical and control systems, and develop a remediation plan.

In addition, about $100,000 was authorized for CDM to do a feasibility study to evaluate the economics of reclaiming and reusing wastewater for industrial, irrigation and other non-potable water uses.