New Runway Up and Running at Airport

After four years of work, a $6.6 million project to extend the main runway and install a new runway lighting system is nearly complete at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

During an Ohio County Commission meeting Tuesday, airport Manager Tom Tominack noted the phase 3 portion of the project was complete. Afterward, he said just a few ”punch list” items remain on the final phase.

”The lights are on and the runway is being used,” Tominack said after the meeting.

The project involved filling in a large ravine with thousands of tons of dirt to allow for the runway safety area to first be extended. Per Federal Aviation Administration requirements, the runway safety area had to be extended 1,000 feet. The runway lights, which allow aircraft to safely land in inclement weather and at night, replaced an old lighting system. Cast & Baker of Canonsburg, Pa., was the main contractor for the work. As part of the new lighting system, a bridge of sorts also containing lights that is 196 feet tall and 400 feet long was erected at the end of the runway’s safety area.

In other matters, commissioners approved the following hotel-motel tax fund requests: $250 for YMCA indoor triathlon; $1,000 for YMCA’s pool renovation project; $500, Oglebay Women’s 2013 Golf Invitational; and $2,000, Wheeling Celtic Celebration.

”There will be a lot of out-of-town people staying in hotels – hopefully ones in the county,” Commissioner Randy Wharton said of the golf event.

They also approved adopting a new mileage reimbursement rate for county employees and officials of 56.5 cents per mile. County Administrator Greg Stewart said the old rate was 55.5 cents per mile.

And a new business, Moss Farms Winery LLC, 100 Harvest Ave., is opening in the county. Although the county does not have zoning restrictions, it still must send back a letter to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission stating that is the case when a new business is applying for a liquor license in an unincorporated area.