Hazard plan, airport jobs approved
City of Fredericksburg fire marshal Dave Wisniewski presented Gillespie County Commissioners with an updated version of the 2018-2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Prior to presenting the plan, it had to be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Its purpose is to ensure that if we want to get a hazard mitigation plan, we can get it and put that plan in place. We are then eligible to receive grants through the government and through FEMA,” Wisniewski said. “Hurricane Harvey is a great example of when a hazard mitigation plan would be very beneficial to have.”
Two points that were mentioned are that the plan does not have to specify how grant money is used and it is not legally binding.
“Since it’s approved by FEMA, we can go and ask them for those grants and without that we don’t have much of a chance, correct?” Gillespie County Commissioner Pct. 4 Donnie Schuch asked.
“You could submit for it but the chances of you getting that money is slim to none,” Wisniewski said.
John Culpepper, the city’s director of community support, added that it would benefit projects from having to be repaired in the future, such as ensuring a bridge could withstand different weather elements.
The plan can be reviewed and amended on a yearly basis and will be in effect until 2022.
Gillespie County Airport Manager Tony Lombardi presented Commissioners with three airport improvement projects, all emphasizing safety.
All projects are expected to be paid through the Texas Department of Transportation Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) fund, which covers half the cost of the project.
Lombardi stated that the remaining funds of about $28,000 have to be allocated prior to Aug. 31, 2018.
“These are projects that help increase safety and make the appearance of the airport better,” he said.
Lombardi requested that a sprinkler system be installed surrounded the terminal building.
“Currently, we are suffering the outcome of the drought from five years ago and have continued to lose plants due to the lack of water,” Lombardi said. “I am trying to improve the way the terminal building looks and get water to that area on a regular basis.”
Lombardi stated the project is estimated to cost $6,000, with the only challenge being that asphalt in the parking lot would have to be torn up in order to install the system.
“The cost is a little high due to the asphalt work,” he said.
County Commissioner Pct. 2 Billy Roeder asked if the work they would be doing would benefit future projects in that area.
“We don’t want to have to tear the road up again if we have to,” he said.
Lombardi stated that the company would not fix the asphalt following the project and asked that the county would help repair the area when finished.
Another project presented was the painting of the outside of the T-Hangar, matching the rest of the buildings.
“This is something that hasn’t been done since the 1970s or ’80s, and it basically needs some freshening up,” Lombardi said.
The final project presented to the commissioners was to install solar-powered taxi-way lights/reflectors. Currently, the taxiway is not lit at all.
“To me that is a safety issue,” Schuch said.
These lights would be installed on the outside of the runway with a blue color and the inside stripe would be green.
“These lights are very durable and are able to keep a three-day charge, and that’s when it’s very dark outside,” Lombardi said.
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