A Rayne Township resident who has worked at the Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Airport in various capacities on a part-time basis for a decade is the new airport manager.
Tom Robertson succeeds Todd Heming, who retired as manager in March.
Robertson was recommended for the manager’s position by the Indiana County Airport Authority and his selection was approved Wednesday by the county commissioners.
Robertson is a former high school teacher and has been a licensed pilot 25 years. He flies in and out of the Indiana County Airport on a regular basis.
He said he’s looking forward to being the manager and the catalyst for forging strong relationships between the airport and the public.
Robertson will start his new job at an anticipated annual salary of $45,000. The salary needs formal approval from the Indiana County Salary Board.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Ron Anderson, chairman of the airport authority, said the airport’s new 5,500-foot runway is now in use, replacing the older runway that is now being used as a taxiway.
The next major improvement planned for the airport is an instrument landing system for the new runway. A time frame for its installation is uncertain, Anderson said.
Among numerous supporting contracts approved Wednesday for various county agencies was a continuation of the Prescription Assistance Program. The contract provides $10,000 for a consultant at the Indiana County Community Action Program who assists eligible county residents in securing reduced-cost or even free medical prescriptions from pharmaceutical companies. A software program helps the consultant quickly identify pharmaceutical companies offering needed medicines free or at a reduced cost.
Bonni Dunlap, executive director of the county’s Department of Human Services, said the Prescription Assistance Program was started in 2006 and in the first six months of 2013 alone it has saved eligible county residents more than $88,000 on their medicine costs.
Low-income Indiana County residents between the ages of 18 and 59 without a medical prescription insurance plan may qualify for the assistance, and more information is available by calling ICCAP at (724) 465-2657.
The commissioners also approved several change orders for grading, demolition of abandoned buildings and construction of roads and stormwater management controls at the new Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park in White Township. The commissioners are administering the finances for the park on behalf of the Indiana County Development Corporation.
Byron Stauffer, director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development, said contractors are working together well on getting the site prepared for the park’s first tenant, Creps United Publications. Creps has started construction of a new printing plant at Windy Ridge to replace the company’s former plant that was destroyed by fire last fall.
In another economic development update, Stauffer said bid requests will go out in August for grading and utilities installation at the planned Joseph Land Development/119 Business Park in Center Township. That work will likely start this fall and winter, Stauffer said.