The Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport is set to reopen Oct. 8 after being closed for months while the runway was repaved.
The airport closed in April for the installation of the $3.74 million runway. It’s made of concrete, which will cost less to maintain than the previous asphalt runway, Airport Manager John Taylor said. Runway maintenance costs also will be lower going forward, Taylor said.
Crews also improved drainage around the runway to prevent water damage, and individually grounded each runway light so a single lightning strike can’t affect the entire line, Taylor said.
The airport has had two lightning strikes over the past 8 years, and they cause a lot of damage, Taylor said. Having a grounding rod on each light should limit the damage from the next strike, he said.
A federal block grant covered 90 percent of the $3.74 million project, leaving the city to pay $415,331 from hangar fees and gaming revenue. The cost to the city was less than the $477,623 net it realized from fuel and services at the airport over the past two years, according to city financial statements.
The general aviation airport handles about 12,000 flights a year, can accommodate 95 percent of general aviation aircraft and has 58 planes based there, Taylor said.
People use it for everything from recreational flying to traveling to and from Boonville for business. The airport has a flight school and aircraft to perform agricultural services, Taylor said.