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Rowan County Airport receives funding for runway overlay project

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — The runway overlay project is the second most important project to occur at the Rowan County Airport other than adding length to the runway, according to Greg Edds, chair of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.

Aaron Church, county manager, told the board that the airport has been given $2.74 million for the runway overlay project from the NC Department of Transportation. The county will need to match the grant with $304,700.

“It’s been a long time coming. It’s a great deal with the county. It speaks to all the work the commissioners have done to get this done,” Church said.

Church received the letter notifying him of the funds from NC DOT on Nov. 8.

Edds said he invited Thad Howell, airport director, to the meeting, but he had a prior engagement. Howell explained to Edds the importance of the runway overlay project and Edds passed on the information at the meeting.

Edds said the current runway at the airport is flat and pools water. That could lead to hydroplaning for airplanes and other problems with deceleration.

“And when they’re taking off and they hit these puddles it slows the plane down. It’s harder for them to get airborne, and that’s not good,” Edds said.

The new crown paving will have the center point of the runway being the highpoint of the pavement. There will also be grooves that run from side to side.

“Thad said it’s like having tens of thousands of little gutters that run from the top of the groove and off to the side,” Edds said.

Edds said one of the most important things about the new paving is that corporate pilots will always be able to land at the Rowan County Airport in the rain or snow, which will help attract customers and companies.

“This is a big deal for Rowan County. It’s the second best thing to adding length to the runway is adding a crown and groove surface,” Edds said.

The board accepted the grant and authorized Church to enter into a contract with an engineer.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • Approved an expansion for Velazquez Produce.
  • Gave Cherry Treesort 45 days to submit a revised application that meets certain conditions. The request for a conditional use permit to use the two existing tree houses and building up to five additional tree houses for temporary and overnight lodging will then be brought before the commissioners again.
  • Postponed the public hearing for subdivision text amendments for 60 days.
  • Cancelled the Dec. 19 meeting.
  • Set the Board of Commissioners Retreat for Jan. 12 and 13.
  • Directed the county manager and county clerk to schedule the public work session for the Interstate 85 Corridor land use public workshop.
  • Approved budget amendments.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.



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