WINNSBORO — Fairfield County Council recently approved a request for a runway safety area improvement at the Fairfield County Airport.
The county will receive up to $1.2 million through funds that are approved by the FAA, with Fairfield County matching approximately $60,000.
“This is a tremendous bang of the buck for us,” Fairfield County Administrator Milton Pope said. “We need the safety improvements through our capital improvement plan. For a county of Fairfield County’s size, we have a quality airport for our citizens to use. As we increase economic development here, the airport will be a part of our entire economic infrastructure that is very important for corporate folks to have the use of.”
The grant addresses safety standards for B-2 aircraft with an approach speed of less than 120 mph and a tail height of less than 30 feet.
Pope said the improvements are part of long term improvements for the airport and have not been state mandated.
Through the past six months there have been several safety items that have needed corrections including a fuel pump and a depression in the runway.
The finance committee recommended the matching price for council’s full approval.
Council also unanimously approved a software upgrade at the Fairfield County Detention Center.
The request went to committee and passed unanimously at a recent finance committee meeting regarding technology and software that the detention center needs to communicate with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
“We have some outdated software that impacts information we place in our system and its not supported any longer,” Pope explained.
The request was not a choice, but rather a requirement to be in compliance with SLED and the communication of information, Pope said.
Upgraded software will cost the county approximately $31,124.20.
The expenditure was not in the FY 2014-2015 budget, but Pope noted the county will use existing funds that were budgeted for pending technology upgrades in the county’s control system.
“We’re going to use that fund because that is critical right now an we’re hoping that the information we’re researching on the other upgrades will be able to accomplish both things within the budget,” Pope told council.
At the recommendation of the finance committee, council also unanimously approved the replacement of a county maintenance vehicle at a cost of $32,063.
Deputy Administrator Davis Anderson advised council that the upgraded vehicle will be replacing an older model service vehicle that has been having mechanical difficulties.
“What we’ve done is upgrade the model to a four-wheel drive,” Anderson explained. “In the winter time this vehicle will be used to make sure all safety assistance personnel can get into the administration building safely.”
The detention center and EMS fall into the specified safety personnel.
Pope noted that the vehicle was budgeted for and would be purchased through a local vendor.