Urbana council to discuss airport, armory upgrades


Two city-owned properties on the north side could be in for nearly $60,000 in improvements pending Urbana City Council’s approval during its 6 p.m. meeting today in municipal court chambers.

The largest of the two items being presented to council by administration involves a purchase order to Stantec Consulting in the amount of $51,138.69 for engineering services related to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) project scheduled to take place at Grimes Field. Ninety percent of the cost would be covered by the FAA, 5 percent by the Ohio Department of Transportation and 5 percent by the city.

While no specific project details were mentioned in the request, council in 2016 approved the use of AIP funds to lay the necessary infrastructure to allow Springfield-based Krohn Aviation LLC to construct a 50-by-231 T-hangar and a 70-by-70 corporate hangar just west of Grimes Field’s current set of T-hangars. While the corporate hangar would be for Krohn Aviation, the 10-unit T-hangar would be rented to area pilots by Roger Krohn, who would lease the land at the airport from the city.

To allow the hangars to be built, the city had planned to use AIP grant funds to extend taxiway “C” west past the site of the proposed hangars and construct the majority of the asphalt taxilanes surrounding both hangars.

The project, however, was put on hold by the FAA, which elected not to release last year’s AIP funds after it received a letter from Frederick Krift, 1428 Nutwood Place, in regards to the Nutwood Place property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by him and his wife, Ellen.

Mr. Krift’s request to the FAA was to be granted “consulting party status” concerning developments at Grimes Field, which borders his historic property to the west.

The city expressed interest last year in moving forward with the infrastructure in 2017 if given the OK by the FAA.

Roof work

Council is expected to be presented with a request from administration to allow Mark Neer Restoration to repair and install a membrane on the upper roof of the former armory, 1412 N. Main St., at a cost of $8,650. The request states an insurance claim has been filed for the work, and the total cost to the city would be $1,000.

Council agreed in September 2016 to allow the city-owned property to be sold. At the time, administration set the minimum bid on the 3.48-acre property at $390,000.

In other business:

•Council is scheduled to hear the third and final reading of an ordinance seeking to amend the city’s official zoning map by rezoning eight parcels around the Fyffe Street/North Main Street intersection from a combination of R-2 Medium Density Residential and M-1 Manufacturing to M-1 Manufacturing as requested by city staff.

The parcels in question, owned by Ultra-met and 720 North Main LLC., were supposed to be rezoned M-1 under previous legislation, but city staff discovered the zoning map hadn’t been updated to reflect the approved changes.

•A resolution “strongly opposing the State of Ohio Governor’s proposed 2018-2019 budget” will undergo a first reading.

The resolution states the governor’s proposed “centralized collection of net profit tax returns and other provisions related to the municipal income tax will cause a substantial loss of revenue needed to support the health, safety, welfare and economic development efforts of Ohio municipalities.”

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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