The Conway City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to enter into an agreement with Kutchins and Groh, a value engineering company, to review the proposed construction plans for the new Conway airport, to be located in the Lollie Bottoms area.

The decision was made under the advisement of the Federal Aviation Administration to the city.

The FAA requested the assistance to provide a detailed review to ensure the efficient use of federal funds and the overall economic efficiency of the construction plans.

"We’ve shown them our engineering estimates," said Conway Mayor Tab Townsell. "(The FAA) thinks they can do it for less than that amount. We now believe it’s going to cost more. This review will confirm that."

The estimated total cost of the airport project is around 20 million dollars.

City Engineer Ronnie Hall said the review should not significantly impact the airport’s time of completion.

Kutchins and Groh estimated their review would take about 80 hours to complete.  

The agreement with the city will be an hourly-rate agreement not to exceed $15,000. 

The cost of the firm’s work is 95 percent reimbursable from the FAA and five percent reimbursable by the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.

In other business, an ordinance appropriating funds in the amount of $4,000 to the Conway Tree Board for the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration failed to pass for lack of a motion.

"(The tree board) is aware that this falls under the same sort of thing as the transportation and fireworks funding, but they also acknowledge that they can’t get it if they don’t ask for it," Townsell said. "We just don’t have the money for it right now."

See Thursday’s edition for more details on Tuesday night’s council meeting.

(Staff writer Megan Reynolds can be reached by e-mail at megan.reynolds@thecabin.net or by phone at (501)505-1277. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net)