County Commissioners hold first meeting as Authority

Aug. 14, 2013 @ 08:39 AM

The first meeting with Rutherford County Commissioners serving in their new capacity as the Airport Authority seemed to go off without a hitch.

Except for a few items.

For one, the sound system at the County Annex was inoperable, making it difficult for those in attendance to hear the meeting.

Second, one new member did not take his seat on the board.

Bo Richard was not in attendance during Tuesday's meeting after writing a letter to County Manager Carl Classen declining to serve on the Authority.

His letter was issued three days after the Commission voted 3-2 to take the Authority over. Commissioners voted to invoke House Bill 290 last week during their August meeting.

Over the course of the meeting, the Authority approved naming Bill Eckler, current County Commission vice-chairman, as the Authority chairman and Greg Lovelace as the vice-chairman.

The Authority also adopted the same rules of procedure as those used by the County Commission.

"The current rules of the Airport are almost identical," said Carl Classen, county manager. "The only change is adding a date and time of the meeting and the issue of seconds for motions."

James Luther with W.K. Dixon updated the Authority on the process of projects at Marchman Field. He said projects including paving near the terminal building as well as water line and fencing installation were completed.

"We are in the process of doing the close-out paperwork for those projects," Luther said.

Classen told the Authority issues such as questions regarding hangar leases and guidelines for businesses being located at the airport would be taken up at the Authority's September meeting.

"You want to have a straightforward process," Classen said regarding commercial operations at the airport. "There needs to be that process that the attorney can help set up."

The Authority voted to change the meeting time from the second Tuesday to the third Tuesday of the month with the same 5:30 p.m. start.

"We are just working on issues as they come up and trying to keep things moving," Classen said.

In other business, the Authority:

• approved a request from the Forest City Kiwanis Club to operate free airplane rides for kids in September;

• approved allowing Authority attorney Beth Miller to begin the process of a hangar transfer from Mickey Cochran to Michael Lynch;

• approved allowing Miller to begin the process of a hangar transfer from Lipscomb Aviation to Prestige Prep.