Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights council approves de-icing equipment


Last updated 11/21/2018 at 5:53pm

The Airway Heights City Council approved the purchase of salt-brine production equipment to help with snow removal in the upcoming winter months, and tabled a discussion on whether to allow an interfund loan between the Water/Sewer Fund and the Aquatic and Fitness Center Construction Fund to help ease the gap between its current funding and construction budget.

The City currently uses a magnesium chloride solution for de-icing roadways and sidewalks. This solution is manufactured off-site, delivered in bulk and costs about $1.08 per gallon.

According to city documents, this method “is not cost-effective beyond limited applications.” Instead, the city will switch to using a salt-brine solution that works better on a larger scale, costing only $0.08 per gallon.

The city intends to invest in a brine production machine with an estimated cost of $40,000 with a payback period of five to eight years on the investment. City documents state that most cities in the West Plains are considering making the switch to a salt-brine solution.

The council also voted to table discussion on Resolution 2018-020, which would authorize an interfund transfer from the Water/Sewer fund to the Aquatic and Fitness Center Construction Fund for the entire deficit between the authorized budget and the funds available, plus the amount of funds promised but not yet received.

The authorized budget for the project $17,260,000, while the current available funds total up to about $16,173,666. According to the resolution, the interfund loan is not to exceed $1,779,883.86.

If approved, the Aquatic and Fitness Center Construction Fund would borrow that amount from the Water/Sewer Fund and repay it over 10 years with an interest rate of 3 percent.

At the suggestion of City Manager Albert Tripp, the council held off on further discussion on the issue until its next study session in order to allow for more conversation and clarification on some details, Mayor Kevin Richey said.

In other news, council approved an ordinance establishing the regular propery tax levy, bond levy and EMS levy for 2019.

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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