Tulare City Council Approves Grant for Airport Project
September 17, 2013
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  • The Tulare Municipal Airport runway will get rehabilitation work thanks to a federal grant.

    The Tulare City Council, meeting in special session Tuesday, approved accepting a $234,890 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. In the same move, the council granted approval for city personnel to apply for $11,744 in state grants to be used as matching funds.

    If the state refuses Tulare’s grant petition, Deputy City Manager Margee Fallert said there’s funding in the city’s coffers for the matching portion.

    “This is wonderful,” said Ray Dias, Tulare Aviation Commission chairperson. “Council has always supported the airport. They see the value of the airport. They see it as part of the city.”

    The commission meets monthly on matters regarding the airport and advises the council, who makes the final decision.

    Graham Contractors, Inc., based in San Jose, will complete the rehabilitation work, which calls for completing crack sealing and slurry seal. In total, the rehabilitation work estimate is $260,989.

    The federal grant comes from a tax on airplane gas sold at airports, city officials said.

    Dias, who has been on the commission for 15 years, said the work is needed for good looks and maintenance. Such work should be done every five to seven years, he said. Work at the Tulare airport is overdue by at least seven years.

    If left alone, the runway would need more significant work, costing additional money, Dias said.

    “You have to protect the runway,” he said.

    Weeds growing in between the cracks could also present a danger for landing planes, Dias said. Earlier this year, overgrown weeds were spotted on the runway. City personnel sprayed the weeds, which dried up and cleared the runway.

    The council met in special session Tuesday morning because the grant offered needed to be answered by today, Fallert said. The Council wasn’t scheduled to meet this week because lack of quorum. and wouldn’t meet again until Oct. 1.

    Mayor David Macedo, Vice Mayor Craig Vejvoda and Councilwoman Shea Gowin attended the meeting.