City closer to new wastewater treatment facility at airpark

Drew Butler
The Ardmoreite
The welcome sign at Ardmore Municipal Airport shows some of the businesses at Ardmore Industrial Airpark. The Airpark will soon be getting a new wastewater treatment plant.

A new wastewater treatment facility at the Ardmore Municipal Airport came one step closer to reality on Monday after the Ardmore Development Authority and the Ardmore City Commission voted to approve a memorandum of understanding between the two entities. The memorandum outlines the responsibilities of each in regards to the new facility’s construction, upkeep, funding, rent and terms.

Mita Bates, President and CEO of the ADA, said the memorandum is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration who must give approval for the land not to be used for aviation. The City of Ardmore owns the land, while the ADA leases it and manages the airport. Per FAA requirements the ADA will in turn lease the land back to the city.

Bates said per the terms of the memorandum, the city will sublease the land for 40 years and the agreement can be renewed in the future per the agreement of both parties. Due to FAA rules, the city must pay the ADA a market rent price of just over $8,700 a year.

City utility director Shawn Geurin summed up the terms of the memorandum for city commissioners by telling them the city will be building, running and staffing the plant.

Bates said the project has been in the works for about six years, and she is excited to see it moving forward to help facilitate growth at the airpark in the future. The current wastewater facility at the airpark is an open lagoon that dates back to the early days of the property.

“One thing that’s very exciting is it’s going to be what they call a package plant, so as the airpark grows, we’ll be able to add more units to it so we can handle increased growth,” Bates said.

She added that city officials are optimistic the project will be completed in the near future.

“Shawn (Geurin) is very optimistic that we can move forward quickly and get this project done within a couple of years,” Bates said. “The city has been very gracious to partner with us on this. They actually allocated the funding for this project almost three years ago, and they have been rolling that forward while we got everything ready.”