The Searcy Airport Commission is applying for two Arkansas Department of Aeronautics grants to fix crack and drainage issues at the airport after two resolutions were passed by city officials Tuesday night.

The resolutions passed by the Searcy City Council were for an 80/20 grant for taxiway crack repair and 90/10 grant for drainage improvements. The ADA will pay the larger percentage of each grant (80 and 90) while the city is responsible for the smaller portion (20 and 10).

“The taxiway we built in 1992 and we are beginning to see some wider cracks in the surface,” said the airport’s project engineer, Bob Chatman of Miller-Newell Engineers Inc. of Newport. “We’re going to rout those and seal that with hot-pour sealant to keep the water from penetrating into the base.”

Chatman said he anticipates the taxiway project could probably be started on during the summer, after bids come in and a contractor is hired to work the project. “I think it holds a priority with the state for funding. I think they should fund it.”

Concerning the drainage grant, Chatman said, “We relocated a drainage ditch to the very north edge of the property and we filled in the old creek and rerouted around the area. It has stayed wet so we are going in to that area and will put some French drains to draw the water out of the subgrade there and dry that up so that they can drive tractors over to bushhog and maintain the grass there.”

Chatman said the drainage project could start in the summertime as well. He mentioned that on the southwest part of the runway there is a wet area that needs the same work so a French drain would be put in there also to dry that area.

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