The Conway City Council tonight will consider granting an impact fee credit to developers of the Watershed, a 17.38-acre natural preserve at The Village at Hendrix in exchange for an easement for pedestrian and bicycle access.

The Watershed was designed to be an undisturbed natural area with streams, walking paths, boardwalks, trails, bridges, benches and seating areas for public recreational purposes.

Because the Watershed is defined as a Park System Improvement, the developers, TVH, will be eligible for a $1.135,277 credit, offsetting impact-generating development in the neighborhood.

If the council agrees, the impact fee credit will not exceed $400,000.

The council meets in committee at 5:30 tonight at the District Court Building at 810 Parkway to discuss management and operation of the new Conway Municipal Airport in Lollie Bottoms.

A late summer opening in 2014 is expected for the airport that will have a 5,500 ft. long by 100 ft. wide runway with a parallel taxiway and aprons for the terminal building, corporate hangar and public area.

Planned are 60 public hangar lease spaces.

The council will also review requests for proposals (RFPs) for purchase of the Cantrell Field property. The market value of the old airport is in the $8 to $9 million range.

In a report to the council, City Engineer Ronnie Hall said several cities have opted to buy out their fixed base operator (FBO) and operate the airport themselves.

"West Memphis currently operates their airport with city employees," Hall said, adding that the West Memphis budget included more than $100,000 from the city’s Advertising and Promotion tax to assist in construction projects.

A third option would be to establish an airport commission with an airport manager.

"Whatever type operation that is chosen, the decision needs to be made soon so that the personnel operating the airport can be available for decisions during the final construction period," Hall said.

In other business, the council will consider

• Rezoning property at 1605 E. Oak from R-1 and C-3 to PUD for a metal recycling facility. The request from Linda Linn includes stipulations including limiting hours of operation. The PUD was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on July 16.

• Rezoning property on Dave Ward Drive, South Donaghey and South Elizabeth from R-1 and O-2 to C-2 for construction of a Kum & Go convenience store with a conditional use permit that would allow a fueling station. The Planning Commission voted 6-2 that the request with several conditions be sent to the Council with a recommendation for approval.

• A five-year vending contract with Pepsi Beverages Co. for the city’s park concessions. If approved, Pepsi will pay $15,000 up front and $5,000 for four years, provide 10 recycle bins and 50 cases of 16.9 oz. water each year.

• Renewal of a contract with Aramark for the outsourcing of concession services at City of Colleges Park and Conway Station Park.

• An agreement for design services with Jacobs for a master plan at Curtis Walker Park at a cost of $9,1320, and an agreement for architectural services with Sowell Architects for a concession stand and toilet facility at Conway Station Park at a cost of $7,500. If approved, the funds will come from the Parks and Recreation Advertising and Promotion fund balance.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)