Demopolis City Council approves airport improvement plan

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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During the Sept. 21 Demopolis City Council meeting, the Council approved plans for an expanded taxiway for the Demopolis Municipal Airport. The airport is also currently working on a new terminal building.

Airport Director Jason Pendergrass said the next phase of the airport improvement project “goes hand in hand” with the terminal building project already underway.

According to Pendergrass, construction of the terminal building is not moving quickly yet, but he expects work to speed up within the next couple of weeks. The allotted time for completion runs out in February 2024, but taxiway lane construction does not have a start date yet. The work is expected to begin soon.

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Phase II of the project will consist of expanding the apron in front of the terminal building. An apron, or ramp, is a designated area of an airport where aircraft are parked, unloaded, loaded, refueled, and boarded by passengers. The apron is typically located adjacent to the terminal building.

“Engineers have estimated the project will take $1.9 million to complete. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I also don’t think we’re going to get that much funding from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation),” Pendergrass said. “However, we have to be prepared to match that if we do get the funding. The match on that would be roughly $95,000 to $100,000.”

The Council approved updating the 2015 Burn Permit Ordinance at the request of Demopolis Fire Chief Jeb Bailey, who said the fees for permits have gone up by $10.

The Council also approved two requests for public assemblies. The first was for the Demopolis High School Homecoming parade on Thursday, Sept. 28. A pep rally and bonfire will follow at the Demopolis Middle School baseball field. The second request was for the Eastern Hills Residents- Past/Present Neighborhood Unity Party for Saturday, July 6, 2024.

Demopolis Police Chief Rex Flowers requested converting the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Whitfield Street into a four-way stop instead of a two-way stop. Flowers said the middle school asked the police department to inspect the area to see if a four-way stop would help with traffic congestion in the mornings and afternoons.

The Council also approved a paving project for Whitfield Street behind the middle school. The project will cost an estimated $70,730. The Council considered paving only a portion of the road for a cost of $58,000, but dismissed the idea. Funding for the project will come from the city’s reserves.

The Demopolis City Council meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m. The work session begins at 4:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend.