By CHRIS AGEE
Mineral Wells city council members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a major upgrade to the runway lighting at Mineral Wells Municipal Airport.
City Manager Lance Howerton explained city staff recently submitted a request to participate in the capital improvement project through Texas Department of Transportation Aviation.
The total cost to upgrade lighting and installing a visual approach aid at the airport is $1.23 million. Howerton said the city will be required to contribute a 10-percent matching share.
The funding, plus the cost of engineering, would come from the airport fund balance. The engineering phase would begin this fiscal year with construction scheduled for the following year, Howerton explained.
He said the project would make Mineral Wells home to one of the first municipal airports with LED lights illuminating its runway.
Alcohol variance approved
Councilman Rick Bennett abstained and the remaining five members present voted to grant a variance to Pinto Food Store, allowing the business to sell alcohol within 300 feet of public school property.
The retailer, located at 1300 S. Oak Ave., recently applied for a wine-only permit from the city and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Though the store is less than the statutory minimum of 300 feet from Houston Elementary School property, state law allows city councils to grant variances to that requirement.
City Clerk Juanita Formby said Mineral Wells Independent School District did not object to the request and noted the store has been at the same location for more than 30 years and has sold beer during much of that time.
Council OKs purchase of new MWPD vehicles
Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan addressed city council in support of purchasing six new squad cars for the agency.
He said the vehicles will replace aging vehicles with poor fuel economy and in need of expensive repairs.
The purchase price of six new vehicles through a cooperative purchasing program will be $204,120, which includes everything needed for patrol short of exterior decals.