For a little more than $1 million, a Sparks construction company has been hired to rehabilitate the main taxiway at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved two contracts with A & K Earth Movers, Inc., the first for $551,000 and the second for $482,000, to rehabilitate both the southern and northern portions of Taxiway A.Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said the majority of funding came from a recent $1.3 million Federal Aviation Administration grant. She said the airport had to match the grant with approximately $81,250, which came from airport user fees, not the county general fund.Thompson stressed the poor condition of the tarmac.“You can literally take your hand and pull up the aggregate mix,” she said.Valley resident Jack Van Dien questioned whether the contractor had been instructed to keep the surface’s weight limit at 75,000 pounds for dual-wheel planes and 50,000 pounds for single-wheel planes, as stipulated in the Airport Use Ordinance.Even if the asphalt were strengthened by the project, Thompson answered, the weight restrictions were implemented by the community and will not change.“Will it be stronger? Very possibly. Will it change restrictions? Absolutely not,” she said. Thompson also pointed out that a Minden contractor had bid on the project, but that the county had to accept the lowest bid.Construction on the taxiway is expected to wrap up by mid October.
n In other news, county commissioners unanimously approved a two-year employment contract with East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts Chief Tod Carlini.Although Carlini has been at the helm of the district for more than 12 years, he has not had an employment contract during his tenure.Dep. District Attorney Doug Ritchie explained that the contract mirrors the county manager’s contract and provides a legal basis going into the future, should Carlini decide to leave.Effective immediately, the contract sets Carlini’s annual base salary at $116,958.90. It encompasses clauses for termination, severance pay, compensation, benefits, disability and performance evaluations, among other items.“I think it’s good to have one,” Commissioner Mike Olson told Carlini. “You can leave anytime you want, but we can get rid of you anytime we want. I hope this is a strong commitment that you’ll be here for two years.”“I’m good with it, too,” added Commission Chair Lee Bonner. “I just want to see you around for 10 years.”