Joe P. Asher
A planned runway lighting project took center stage during a meeting of the Harlan County Airport Board on Thursday.
Board Chairman Mark Miracle advised the board on the status of the project.
“They opened the bids on the runway lights,” explained Miracle. “There was four bids on it. Those were opened. They’ve not awarded the bid yet. We’re waiting on the engineers to look and make sure that the bonds and the proper paperwork was in their packets.”
Miracle explained things should move quickly now that the bids have been opened.
“We should hear something on that early next week,” said Miracle. “My guess is they’ll award the bid and give them a notice to proceed and they’ll probably start in a couple or three weeks, whenever they can get to it. They should start pretty quick.”
The bids range from a low bid of $275,000 to a high bid of over $400,000.
Miracle explained that some bids came in at an amount higher than the available funds.
“We’ve only got so much money. We’ve got enough for the two lowest bidders,” said Miracle. “But for the two highest bidders we wouldn’t have enough money.”
According to Miracle, once construction begins the project is set to be completed within 45 days.
Miracle pointed out there has been an issue with the funding for the project.
“This grant money we’ve got for the lights is 90 percent federal, supposed to be 7.5 percent state, and 2.5 percent local,” said Miracle. “We got a letter from the state department that they are not going to fund the state’s part of the money, which is roughly $23,000 or $24,000 — something like that.”
Miracle explained the funds will be coming from a different source.
“We’ve been in a little discussion back and forth with the state department. They just don’t want to see lights in Harlan, they’re afraid someone will get hurt on account of the mountains. We called a couple of congressmen, senators, the Governor’s Office — went that route. So, we’re getting funding from them. They are going to see that the money’s there,” said Miracle.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com