County's airport business plan and ARPA request for proposals hit temporary snags

Updated: Mar 10

MOUND CITY – Linn County Airport Manager Jessica Hightower updated the Linn County Commissioners on the request for quote (RFQ) for developing a business plan at the airport and the request for proposal (RFP) for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds.

Hightower said that she had made calls to the companies that she had sent the RFQ out to and found out that several of them don’t do that type of airport planning. Some of them strictly do engineering planning, so they did not respond at all.

She said she had one company that returned her call, and the gentleman was very helpful. He spent 45 minutes on the phone discussing planning and sent her several documents to help with the next one she sends out.

He said that there were a few things in the county’s RFQ that it did not have to have in there because the airport is not a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airport. So the FAA guidelines on how you pick the proposal winner don’t apply to the county because of that, said Hightower.

Hightower said according to the person she had visited with, the county could base its criteria on how it does regular bidding. So the regular county policies can be used to pick the RFQ winner. She said she is going to work on writing that and that man would look at her draft and then she would send it back out.

On the RFP for the ARPA funding, Hightower said she knows everyone wants to get that out and she has it drafted and has talked about it with Taylor Hogue at Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission (SEKRPC).

Hightower said that the federal government has sent down another rule. They are calling this one the final rule, and she hoped it was the last one about how those funds can be spent. It changes the guidelines , so Hogue will come to commissioners in the next two weeks with a presentation.

The people at SEKRPC are working this week to make sure that they understand all the new rules. And as soon as that is done and and her office can figure out how to follow the new rules, the RFP will be sent out, said Hightower.

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