Greg Brown, the Airport Manager, gave exclusive details about the secretive events happening at the Carmi Municipal Airport.
At the City Council meeting, Brown explained to the board that he was approached a few weeks ago from a group that has been in the process of filming a pilot for an action network. The group, which are made up of street racers, has based their show off of the Discovery Channel’s popular program, “Street Outlaws”, contacted seven or eight other airports and were turned down but Brown was determined to say yes. Brown has been improving and upgrading the airport for years, trying to draw more attention to general aviation. In order to get an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation, Brown had to prepare a safety plan with his engineer to where the airport could remain open while the races were going on.
The plan was approved by the FAA and the DOT and soon the first episode was being filmed. The first set was invitation only and between 23 and 33 cars were in attendance. Brown was eager to share the aftermath of the first drag race, “The outcome was remarkable, we were complimented from teams from Chicago and Indianapolis who said they never raced any place like that before. We did a plane landing during the races, he landed right up to the ramp and got out to take pictures.” With so much success, there are plans to expand the event, with talk of opening the races for general admission to the public.
The board was in agreement of the drag racing being a positive addition to Carmi, but a couple of visitors voiced their concerns. JC Tinsley, of WROY/WRUL, was apprehensive on the knowledge of only a couple of board members knowing about the event, “How many of you knew it was happening before it happened? Is that not a concern?” Mayor Pollard was quick to respond by saying, “As long as he (Brown) got the state to say okay and he went through the engineering like it was supposed to be done and then got proof for the insurance.” Brown added, “They did not want to announce it until they filmed three episodes. After people put it on Facebook that they were worried and upset, that we were going to make it public.” Tinsley ended by saying, “I think it’s a good thing. I say it anytime somebody is pissed off at me, that I am a watchdog for the public.”
Doug Redman, a resident that lives out by the airport, asked Brown if he was going to allow vehicles to park alongside the road, to which Brown replied, “I have 12 acres right behind the airport that is all open, and that is going to be used for; I don’t want people parking on the road, that’s not a wide enough road.” Redman stated that there were vehicles parked on the road on both sides, making it dangerous for everyone. Brown made sure that he was going to make parking available by, “opening that 12 acres up, we’ll be able to put 500 there.”
Moving on with the board meeting the City Clerk, Cynthia Attebury, introduced Generator 11. Attebury said, “We filed an insurance claim, which David Coston took a lead on, and done extensive work getting them all the information they needed.” Attebury received a check for $602,978.75 to pay for the lost revenues with the breakdown of Generator 11. Skip Oliver, an insurance agent for the city, will be reading the policy of the money and make sure there are no restrictions on how the funds will be spent. David Coston made it clear that the electric committee will need to get together and talk about the options surrounding the generator and the check, “If we are going to repair the generator and we don’t have it done by January 31, then we don’t get any credits from now until the end of the contract. We are talking about a million and a half dollars worth of credits for completion.” More details will be discussed at the October 1 Council meeting.
The Mayor gave his reports concerning the month of October. The 75th annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner will be held on October 7 at the VFW in Carmi. October 11 and 12 will be Corn Days. The Halloween at Burrell Park will be on October 18 and 19. Lottery for campsites will start on Tuesday, October 1, you can contact the City Clerk at (618) 384-2001 or HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com"firstname.lastname@example.org. The city will be hosting the Trunk or Treat on October 31 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm, with public Trick or Treating starting at 4:00 pm and ending at 8:00 pm.
The Faҫade Improvement Grant for The Original Company was approved by the board for $5,000. The money will be used for improvements on their building, which is located on North Church Street in Carmi.
City Council board members approved both the 2019 financial reports for the City of Carmi and Light and Water Departments and the September 2019 vendor invoices for the City of Carmi and Light and Water Departments.
There was no closed sessions at the September 17 meeting. The board will gather on October 1.