Rehabilitation of Winnsboro Municipal Airport taxiway and aprons will begin within a month, said Terry Shirley, airport manager.

A low bid of $292,608 from Amethyst Construction, Inc. of West Monroe was approved for the work Monday at the Winnsboro Town Council meeting.

Improvements were funded by grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

“With this grant, 90 percent was paid by the federal government and 10 percent was paid by the state government,” Shirley said. “This cost Winnsboro nothing.”

Bid specs call for rehabilitation of taxiway A and aprons one, two and four with the reconstruction of apron three.

Earlier this year, taxiway A experienced a culvert failure. The culvert was installed in the 1960s, Shirley said.

“We are getting things repaired that are really old,” Shirley said. “We are going to take advantage of all the money we can get from grants.”

Shirley estimated Winnsboro’s airport sees over 100 planes per month. Customers include those from national business executives to local pilots.

In a related matter, the Town Council introduced an ordinance changing Shirley’s status as an employee of Winnsboro to contract labor under the recommendation of Louisiana Legislative Auditors and the FAA.

“Everything remains the same but on paper we are making this change to satisfy the Legislative Auditor and FAA requirements that have been set up,” said Mayor Sonny Dumas.

In an unrelated matter Winnsboro will pay half of the $14,000 air conditioning repair costs at the Princess Theatre.

Under the current lease agreement, Winnsboro agreed to pay half of all the “major costs” pertaining to the Princess Theatre, Dumas said.

“We are going to get these funds from as many sources as we can,” Dumas said when questioned by Councilman Rex McCarthy on where funds will come from to pay repair costs. “We need to uphold our obligation.”

Councilman Jerry Johnson made the motion with a second from McCarthy to pay half of the Princess Theatre air conditioning costs with the sole nay vote coming from Councilman Tyrone Coleman.

On another front, the Town Council members agreed to enter into an annual contract with Inspections Unlimited of West Monroe to provide new construction inspections for Winnsboro.

Chad Parker with Inspections Unlimited has been performing inspections without a contract in Winnsboro for three years. Inspections Unlimited also works for Franklin Parish Police Jury.

There are no financial costs to Winnsboro linked to the contract. Fees are paid by the person building the structure and are based on the structure’s square footage.

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