Updates from Aurora’s City Council meeting

Seth Kinker
Aurora Advertiser

The Aurora City Council met on Jun. 8, approving the first ordinance readings for airport improvements as well as hearing updates on the flood damage and recovery efforts from City Manager Jon Holmes.

The first reading of ordinance 2021-3235 authorized the mayor to execute a State Block Program (SBGP) agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, with 90% of the cost covered by the grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and the city paying the remaining 10%.

“Essentially this is part of the five-year plan to update the airport,” said Holmes at the council meeting. “A couple years ago we installed and expanded the aprons around the airport. This is the second phase of that, were going to move forward with constructing T-Hangars out at the airport. The total amount of the project is about $550,000. 90% of that is covered by the FAA, the last 10% is the responsibility of the city.”

States that participate in the SBGP assume the responsibility to administer Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants at airports classified as “other than primary” airports and the Aurora Municipal Airport meets that requirement.

This first ordinance reading was for the design of eight T-Hangars, an enclosed protective storage unit, at the airport, totaling $55,350.

The cost of the design services totals $61,500, with the city paying $6,150 for their 10% match portion provided through federal funding allocated to the city annually.

“With COVID funding and different things like that being given to us from MoDOT, we are able to use that funding,” said Holmes. “as we move forward, I think there’s $40,000 available to us, so for $15,000 we’re going to get a half million-dollar project.:

Resolution 2021-1814, the next item under new business, directed and authorized Holmes to execute an agreement with H.W. Lochner Inc. for design services for the T-Hangars and was passed.

Flood damage updates

During Holmes report to council, he touched on multiple topics with the main updates pertaining to the flood damage that had occurred two weeks ago.

“Flood damage repairs are mostly complete on Springfield, Sherry Jane Lane, Prospect, Hadley and other streets,” said Holmes.

He also reported mowing in the city was behind as a result of the flooding but that they were gradually getting caught up.

Holmes also gave an update on White Park, which received a majority of the damage from the floods.

“We are on hold waiting for landscape materials for the ball fields,” said Holmes. “that’s probably the biggest thing right now. We have to have good clay and good clean dirt to put in out there. Right now, everything is mud.”

Council member Theresa Pettit asked Holmes about past discussions for using Baldwin Parks baseball fields and Holmes said they were utilizing those fields as much as they could, but it was also hurting church leagues that were held in White Park.

Holmes said floodwater repairs were ongoing at the wastewater department and that they had repaired three damaged manholes and repaired and cleaned two lift stations.

In the week after the floods, Holmes estimated there was around $1-1.5 million in damage to city infrastructure and private property, with White Park sustaining at least a couple hundred thousand dollars’ worth of damage.

After the floods, Holmes said the city, and neighboring municipalities, were working to gather information on the amount of damages incurred dollar wise to send to the Lawrence County Emergency Management Director to see if it would qualify them to apply for a disaster declaration from the governors office which would open up the chance for federal recovery funds.