Ardmore City Commissioners approved their budget for the upcoming fiscal year Monday, and declared replacing the beacon at the Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport an emergency.
The airport is currently without a rotating beacon, after it broke sometime last week. Without a beacon pilots cannot utilize the airport at night because the beacon serves as a safety feature for the airport. The beacon began malfunctioning in Spring of 2016, after it was struck by lightening.
Since then the city has made every possible attempt to fix it, but now repairs just won’t do.
“An attempt was made again to repair the beacon here locally and it is now currently inoperable,” Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said. “This is not a budgeted item but the funds are there.”
The new beacon will be manufactured by ECS-Electrical and Construction Specialists, Inc., of Mississippi, and will cost around $25,000. Rotating beacons play a key role in identifying different types of airports at night. Different colors signal a land airport, water airport, heliport, military airport or a hospital and emergency services heliport.
“I appreciate that we tried all we could,” Commissioner At-Large Doug Pfau said, before making the motion to approve the new beacon.
Boatright said that the new beacon should arrive at the airport in around three weeks.
The commissioners also unanimously approved their $85 million budget for the 17-18 fiscal year. Dubbed “the most difficult budget so far,” by city Clerk Ken Campbell, some key spending the budget allots for are as follows:
• $2.5 million for community enhancement
• $3.7 million for street improvements
• $1.4 million of street maintenance
• $1.4 million to the Ardmore Development Authority for industrial development
These expenditures, along with keeping the police department, fire department, municipal government, and parks and recreation department up and running were all outlined in the budget.
City Manager J.D. Spohn said that the reason the budget was tough this year, is because Ardmore is ending this year with less sales tax revenue than expected.