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Airport asks county, CCEDC for help with repairs

South Alabama Regional Airport had $72,000 in repairs that needed to be made to the twin hangars and have now asked for help from the Covington County Economic Development Commission and the Covington County Commission to help finish paying for those repairs.

Executive director Jed Blackwell said the Covington County Economic Development Commission has helped pay for a portion of the repairs, but the SARA board is asking the Covington County Commission for help as well.

SARA receives a portion of money each month from hangar lease payments.

Blackwell said the money they had saved was spent on a $50,000 roof for the DynCorp building, and only about $5,000 was left in the repair account.

The airport has already paid for the initial cleaning of the hangar — $2,990.

It also paid $6,945.50 to install four sections of handrails.

Using the repair account, it spent $3,825 to install a new heating and cooling system.

There is a cost of $$35,826 to repair the hangar door and rolling steep operators. CCEDC has already paid half the cost and the other half is due when finished.

Crane repairs totally $5,165 were completed this week, Blackwell said.

Additionally, a new compressor is needed for the existing trane system, which costs $3950.

And a 10-year fire suppression system testing is needed for $11,000

CCEDC director Rick Clifton said that they were waiting to see what the County Commission could do.

Then the CCEDC would ensure that the other repairs were taken care of.

County Commission Chairman Greg White said he would take it to the commission to discuss and vote on helping.

White said he was all for allocating more funds to the maintenance fund.

“Remember, there was a time when the airport had to ask the county and cities for operational funds. That hasn’t happened in 13 years,” Clifton said. “They are sustaining operationally.”

Clifton reminded everyone that the hangars are the biggest economic drivers.