Airport seeks to replace existing fuel farm

Published 12:04 am Monday, December 22, 2014

NATCHEZ — County airport officials are working to ensure the county can utilize a grant to replace the fuel farm at the Hardy-Anders Field Airport.

The county has received a $283,000 multi-modal grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to replace the fuel farm at the airport.

Bids submitted thus far have been beyond the amount of the grant, however, and Airport Director Clint Pomeroy said he has been working with bidders to see if they can’t value engineer a solution.

Email newsletter signup

The grant has to be utilized by May.

“Some of the specifications we used were from our fuel supplier, and they are sort of for the gold-plated fuel farm,” he said. “We may resize some of that stuff to make it fit the money, and we are going to negotiate with the bidder to see if we can take that stuff out.”

The new fuel farm will be similar in size to the one at the airfield now, but will be up-to-date on newer regulations and will bring the tanks into line with aviation needs, Pomeroy said.

“The existing tanks are vertical, and we have got issues with being unable to truly sump the bottom of the tanks because they sit flat on the ground,” he said. “There is water on the bottom of the tank that you can’t sump. In aviation fuel, you want to remove the most water you can from the fuel.”

Some of the pipes and filters are starting to age, he said.

“It is not anything serious, but it is things that need to be changed,” Pomeroy said.

The airport should know by the first part of January if it can afford the new fuel farm, he said.

“I have some extra money that I can put in it over and above the grant, so if we can get the numbers to where we can work with them, we can go ahead and get it built,” he said. “We will take the old fuel farm and see if we can sell the tanks to the oil industry folks around here. The tanks are serviceable and can be used, they just aren’t ideal for aviation, so we may be able to get some money from that.”