03/06/11 — Duplin preparing to continue airport work

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Duplin preparing to continue airport work

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on March 6, 2011 1:50 AM

Efforts to build a new terminal building at the Duplin County airport began last month as the county commissioners signed off efforts to secure funding to replace the building, which was originally built more than 30 years ago.

"We're looking for a better layout, better design, and more efficient terminal building," said airport manager George Futtrelle, speaking after the meeting.

With efforts to acquire land on both ends of the runway nearing completion, County Manager Mike Aldridge explained after the meeting that the terminal building is the next item on the county's list of airport capital projects.

"We're excited about this. We're looking forward to getting that done within the next year or so," Futrelle said.

Helping fund the effort will the county's annual $150,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, which requires only a $16,667 match by the county.

At the commissioners' meeting on the 21st, the board voted to use leftover funds from the 2009 grant to begin the design work for the facility.

In other news, the board also discussed applying for grant funding to build a holding facility for cattle at the Duplin Events Center.

Aldridge explained that they felt the location was a good one, especially with plans in place to hold the county's first agricultural fair in nearly 15 year in September. But the real reason, he said, is because it would benefit the consortium of cattle farmers in the county, giving them a place they could more easily group together for sales.

"I think this is really a viable project," Aldridge said. "It's got a lot of potential economic impact. The business model is already there. It's what they're doing. And this is a really place to do that."

In other news, the commission heard about plans from the Kenansville Fire Department to build a substation in the Westbrook Crossroad community between Kenansville and Oak Wolfe.

Aldridge explained that the fire insurance zones only extend out six miles from the stations and so there is a good bit of the county not covered, but that in this case, the officials at Kenansville learned there was an opportunity to extend coverage to that area and decided to do it.

He added that they land for the substation has been donated to fire department, but said he did not know when work was planned to begin.