Aiken City Council approved the first of two readings to change the name of the Aiken Municipal Airport to the Aiken Regional Airport during its Monday, March 27 meeting.
The city-owned airport is now the 11th busiest in South Carolina, and changing the name will more accurately reflect the growth and improvements at the airport over the last 15 years, according to City Council documents.
“The airport has been classified as a regional airport,” said Assistant City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh. “It’s more for if a pilot is looking to fly in, it will be say on the various manifests and records it was a regional airport, but as a categorization it will say it is a regional airport.”
The changing of the Aiken Municipal Airport’s name came at the request of the General Aviation Commission.
“It’s a long overdue action on our part,” Council member Dick Dewar said. “Since it’s a regional airport I would hope we’d get some help from the regional agencies who benefit from this airport far more than we. Bridgestone would not be here if it weren’t for the airport. I strongly support the move.”
Over the years, airport updates include the construction of a new terminal building, expanding the terminal apron, and installing an instrument landing system.
Aiken Municipal Airport serves classified general aviation aircraft, a category that covers corporate jets, agricultural aviation, flight training, flying clubs, gliders, powered parachutes and light aircraft maintenance.
During Master’s Week, the airport will handle more than 100 incoming and departing flights daily, more than any other time of the year.
Council also approved the second reading of a resolution regarding the City’s infrastructure.
“As the city moves forward with its downtown revitalization, major repairs need to be done, and quickly,” said City Manager John Klimm.
Some water lines are pushing 105 years old; water valves in some blocks have been there since 1911; and many corrugated pipes are more than 25 years old, placing them in the “high risk for failure” category.
Klimm said areas of major concern include Laurens and Newberry streets between Park and Richland avenues, and Hayne Avenue from Laurens to Pendleton streets.
If approved, the resolution that would require an engineer-led evaluation of valves, water and sewer lines, fire hydrants and storm water pipes along those streets as soon as possible.
Council member Dewar said he hoped to see the City branch to other areas of Aiken once the initial infrastructure projects are completed.
“Once we have our learning curve to see how long it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost, the expectation is we will bring this resolution back to Council to look to other sections of downtown,” Dewar said.
In addition, Council will consider hiring a utilities and construction manager to expedite the process. If approved, money for the new employee will come from the Capital Project Sales Tax Fund.
City staff is expected to present to Council a funding request for Phase 1 of the infrastructure plan on April 30.
In other City Council business:
– Susan Seldon, executive director of the Cumbee Center for Abused Persons requested Council’s approval to place teal ribbons throughout the downtown Aiken area in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.
“To us at the Cumbee Center, these are not just numbers, these are incidents we experience every day,” Seldon said.
– Also, Council approved the placement of six banners in the downtown area promoting the annual Memorial Day Parade, May 27.
First Reading of an Ordinance to Rezone Property owned by Margaret
Davis Farfour Located at Oriole and Cardinal Drive from Residential
Multi-Family to Limited Professional ( LP).
– Approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone a strip of land located on Richland Avenue adjacent to the Shoppes at Richland Center to General Business (GB).
– Approved the first reading of an ordinance to transfer three City-owned properties in Crosland Park to Second Baptist Community Development Corporation.
Approval of a Resolution Authorizing Water Service to 1623 Columbia
Highway North.
– Approved a resolution authorizing water service to a property on
Columbia Highway North Owned by Aiken County to locate a new County EMS station.
– Approved a resolution for Mutual Aid Agreement with Town of Johnston
Police Department.