Airport authority rejects tree topping bids

From staff reports

PARKERSBURG — At a special meeting Wednesday morning, the Wood County Airport Authority rejected a bid to trim the tops of trees on surrounding property after it came in at more than $100,000.

Airport Manager Glen Kelly said after the meeting that the amount was much higher than officials anticipated when they put the project to top about 90 trees out to bid. Only one company submitted a qualifying bid, with two others unable to be considered because they did not follow all specifications, he said.

“We’ll put it out again,” Kelly said. “We’re hoping for more bidders.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the airport until October to remedy the obstructions, with trees encroaching anywhere from 2 to 20-plus feet into the approach lanes for aircraft. That raises the minimum approach height for landings, which can be problematic during inclement weather and at night, officials have said.

The board voted 5-0 not to accept the bid, per Kelly’s recommendation.

In other business, Kelly said the airport’s promotion through print and digital advertising of a one-day Tax Day sale for tickets on carrier Via Air appeared successful, with a local employee of the company saying he was inundated by calls Tuesday.

Kelly said he’s also been in contact with Via officials to express concern over a scheduling change that led to a more-than-four-hour layover at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Sundays for passengers flying from here to Orlando, Fla.