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Airport commission hopes to sell dirt

By Sonny Long
Feb. 1, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.

Jason Milewski

OTHER ACTIONAlso on Thursday, the Victoria Regional Airport Commission:

Heard a report from the Daughters of the American Revolution concerning the Wings of Freedom event on April 1, 2 and 3.

Ratified a lease agreement with the Transportation Security Administration for office space.

The Victoria Regional Airport Commission is hoping a little dirt goes a long way.

On Thursday, the commission authorized airport staff to work with its engineering firm on a drainage improvement project that could include the sale of fill dirt to contractors working on the Caterpillar facility project.

Airport manager Jason Milewski said the airport sold dirt in the past when the U.S. Highway 59 overpass was constructed.

Milewski said an ongoing drainage project at the airport and the need for a retention pond makes the sale of dirt a perfect fit.

"As the airport develops, the water has to go somewhere. Currently, we have some serious drainage issues," he said. "We have been looking at areas where we could develop a large retention project to alleviate any drainage problems we already have and any future drainage problems."

"Normally, you have to pay someone to dig the retention pond," he said. "But in this case, because there is a demand for the dirt that is there, it could end up being a win-win situation by designing and engineering it where it's in the proper place to give us the drainage relief we need and also get paid by selling the material."

Urban Engineering will help develop bid specifications so potential contractors bidding on the Caterpillar project can choose the airport as a source for the fill dirt needed.

"The estimates are that Caterpillar will need between 200,000 and 300,000 cubic yards, so at $1 a cubic yard that would be a good chunk of money," Milewski said. "It would be a great benefit to the airport practically and economically."

The retention pond site tentatively being considered is along Big Bend Drive north of the soccer fields, Milewski said.

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