Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 11, 2012

Mercer residents invited to apply for airport authority seat

PRINCETON — Mercer County residents interested in a local airport are being invited to apply for a seat on the Mercer County Airport Authority.

One item on the Mercer County Commission’s agenda Tuesday was the reappointment of Commissioner Joe Coburn and Charles Peters of Bluefield to the Mercer County Airport Authority. Commissioner Jay Mills moved to table the action so other people could apply for the position.

“I think we should table this and get more people who are interested in it,” Mills said.

Bob Carter of Athens, who once ran for a seat on the county commission, said he had read a Bluefield Daily Telegraph editorial that morning urging the commission to find new, qualified candidates for the airport authority. Carter said he agreed with the editorial stance.

“We need more input, we need some other people in the community who might be interested in serving on the airport authority,” Carter said, adding that the airport “has been going downhill for several years.”

Vinciguerra seconded the motion to table the reappointments, and Coburn also agreed to it. After the meeting, Vinciguerra said only one seat on the airport authority would be open for a new member. The authority has five members. Two of them must be Republicans and two must be Democrats. A member of the county commission must serve on the board. Charles Peters is a Democrat. A new member, Charlie Cole, was recently appointed to the airport authority.

“Charlie has been a good member,” Vinciguerra said. Other current members include Laura Gooch and Michael Crews, he said.

People interested in working on the Mercer County Airport Authority can send a letter to the Mercer County Commission, 1501 Main Street, Suite 210, Princeton, WV 24740. The letter should be in care of Joe Coburn, president.

Airport Manager Randall Earnest said Tuesday that the authority recently accepted a bid from Matheny Motors of Parkersburg for a new truck equipped with a snowplow. It is being funded by a $160,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant.

“It’s a tractor-trailer type  cab with a dump bed and a 12-foot snowplow on it,” Earnest said.

The truck is expected to arrive by November, he said.

The airport authority is also seeking bids for work on the airport’s restrooms, Earnest said.

“We haven’t gotten any bids back yet,” he said.摥

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