Commissioners take airport seats

School funding request approved

By Andy Winemiller -

DOBSON — Surry County’s five commissioners appointed themselves to five open seats on the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport Authority.

The Surry County Board of Commissioners took the action at the county board’s meeting Monday evening.

The five vacancies on the seven-person airport authority were created when county commissioners and county staff prompted three authority members to sign letters of resignation a little more than a week prior to Monday’s meeting and informed two other county appointees to the airport board that they would not be reappointed to their positions.

The two members of the authority appointed by the city of Mount Airy will remain on the airport board.

Commissioners also took another action concerning the airport in their roles as county commissioners. The board voted unanimously to instruct county staff to offer the county’s services in managing the airport’s finances.

County staff also relayed word of the airport board’s first meeting with county commissioners at the helm.

A public notice calling a special meeting of the airport board was distributed. It notes the meeting will take place on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Surry County Government Center.

Items on the agenda for the meeting include the election of new officers for the airport authority, consideration of the financial management contract with the county, a recommendation for new by-laws, consideration of an audit contract and opening the results of the final bid needed to complete the runway expansion project underway at the airport.

Commissioners, in their new roles as airport board members, will also hear an update to a situation regarding a $55,000 bill for grading services at the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department’s new location.

In other business, the county board approved funding for tennis courts at Mountain Park Elementary School.

Surry County Schools had requested the $5,000 in funding come from funds left over from a playground project at Rockford Elementary School.

However, Finance Officer Sarah Bowen told the board such a move would not fly. The Rockford funds are N.C. Education Lottery funds and using those funds for the tennis courts at Mountain Park would not be a use approved the N.C. Department of Instruction.

Bowen offered another route for funding the project. She said monies left over from a project for engineering of the East Surry High School’s visitor bleachers could, instead, be used to fulfill the request.

Board members asked Chairman Eddie Harris his thoughts on the project, as Harris represents that portion of the county.

Harris explained that the local Ruritan Club is funding the vast majority of the project. The club has spent about $500,000 on improvements to the area surrounding the elementary school in recent decades.

“I think it’s a good idea,” added Harris.

With that recommendation, the board voted unanimously to divert the $5,000 from the East Surry bleacher project to the tennis courts project.

School funding request approved

By Andy Winemiller

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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