Greenville working to resolve airport stormwater drainage problem

Posted April 09, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
Greenville Municipal Airport
Town of Greenville photo
Greenville Municipal Airport

GREENVILLE, Maine — More improvements are on the horizon for the Greenville Municipal Airport this summer, according to Town Manager John Simko, as a contractor’s pre-bid information meeting is set for Wednesday, April 9.

Sealed bids for a stormwater mitigation plan to alleviate a drainage problem, which could include “excavation, grading, embankment construction, storm drain and underdrain construction,” are being accepted until Wednesday, April 23 at 5 p.m.

Simko said that while the stormwater doesn’t appear to be a major problem on the surface, state and federal environmental laws treat any runoff from an airport “like an industrial entity. We have to abide by the same regulations as, for instance, Hardwood Products (in Guilford).”

However, the only chemicals that could conceivably leak into the designated area would be fluids “used in aircraft maintenance,” Simko said. “On the plus side, this is another job where the town only has to pick up 5 percent of the cost.”

Like most other municipal airport renovations, the federal government picks up 90 percent while the state and host community each pay 5 percent.

Simko said that the Greenville Municipal Airport “is a huge asset and economic generator for the Moosehead Lake Region, and the federal government obviously realizes that. They’ve put close to $10 million into it over the last 10 years.”

Some of the major improvements were the $4.5 million resurfacing of the main runway and around $2.2 million for the secondary runway.

In addition, the 90-5-5 percent match has also paid for expanding the airport apron and purchasing a front-end loader with a plow and snowplowing attachment, plus the building to house it. “Snow removal was always a big issue,” said Simko, “so we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could get this equipment through federal grants for less than 5 percent of the cost.”

A new fixed-based operator came on board at the 300-acre airport last fall as Max Folsom transferred ownership to Dr. Peter Thompson, a Hampden physician and owner of Fletcher Mountain Aviation which offers scenic flights in the region.

Thompson bought the 60- by 80-foot hangar at the airport, a house on the property, 10 tie-downs and the low-lead gasoline pumps.

The arrangement also called for Folsom to lease hangar space for maintenance work, give flight instructions and assist Thompson in overseeing the FBO.

The major event at the airport is the International Seaplane Fly-In on the weekend after Labor Day which attracts hundreds of aircraft and close to 10,000 spectators.

 

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