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Mount Ida City Council approves 10 year airport extension

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online
MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida City Council voted to extend the lease agreement another 10 years with the existing management group. The extension concludes an order of business for the council that began in 2018.
Mayor Jo Childress introduced Brody Turnage to the alderpersons as the monthly meeting came to order. The Mayor stated that a 10 year extension for management of the airport had been presented in 2018, but had not been voted on at the request of the council members. She cited a desire to have someone from the management group present to answer questions before the extension was approved.
The Mayor gave a brief recap on the management agreement. She shared that the original agreement was signed in 2007 with a management group led by Leon Turnage. Originally they had agreed to a 50 year lease, but was later notified that legally they could only do a 40 year lease. The lease was signed with the understanding that a 10 year extension would be added at a later date to match the original 50 year agreement.
Brody Turnage, son of Leon Turnage and a member of the board of directors of the management group, added that the group donated a hangar to the city as part of the agreement. All structures built by the group since 2007 are also the property of the city at no cost to the city. The management group pays the city $2,400 per year for use of the facility and the city then pays them $1,200 per year to manage the airport.
Alderperson Debbie Baldwin asked about cleanup along the west fence. Council members have often enquired as to why the area hasn’t been cleared. Turnage explained that an environmental study conducted during a past expansion of the runway concluded that the area is a natural wetland and cannot be touched. He stated that they would be happy to clean it up if the council can get the wetland stipulation lifted.
The board voted to approve the 10 year extension to honor the original agreement.
Turnage also mentioned that they have located a plaque originally placed during the dedication of the airport in the 1960s. He and the city agreed to relocate the plaque to a location accessible to the general public.
After the approval of the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and the financials Alderman Rick Farmer brought up the ordinances passed last month closed a group of platted streets and alleyways.
Farmer presented a plat map of the affected area along with a photo of the area which includes Laurel Street. He contended that the wording of the ordinance states that Laurel Street has been vacated, which effectively closes the street. The ordinance states that streets in Block 5 and Block 12 are to be closed. Laurel Street lies between these blocks of property. He argued that the ordinance closes Laurel Street between the two. No one else present at the meeting agreed with his interpretation.
No action was taken on the matter and the meeting was adjourned.

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