Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Airport OKs sound insulation

33 residences involved

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HEBRON — The Kenton County Airport Board approved a $534,000 contract Monday to complete sound-proofing on 33 homes south of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

        The money will close out the airport's purchase assurance and sound-insulation program for the area south of the airport, which started in 1996 and is scheduled to end by March 31.

        The houses that will now receive soundproofing are off Tanner's Lane, Boone Aire Road and in the Persimmon Grove subdivision.

        S&L Specialty Contracting Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y., won the contract with a low bid of $534,505.27.

        “We have an experienced management team, we know the product lines,” said Bill Dorn, vice president of residential sound insulation. “And we have one subcontractor with 27 years of experience. We'll get it done right.”

        Airport officials would not release individual addresses of homes receiving soundproofing, citing privacy concerns.

        The airport has spent about $7 million on the purchase assurance program for the area south of the airport. The program allows homeowners to attempt to sell their homes for 120 days. If the property does not sell within that time, the airport can buy it at fair market value and attempt to resell it.

        The airport has also spent about $6 million on soundproofing in the southern region.

        The overall sound program for homes and businesses affected by airport noise began in 1992. It has included buyouts, purchase assurances and soundproofing throughout the area surrounding the airport.

        The total cost of the program for all the regions has been about $125 million.

        The Federal Aviation Administration in December approved a new sound study that makes an additional 256 homes and 25 undeveloped lots west of the airport eligible for soundproofing. That process will cost about $10 million — to be paid by a new $3 per ticket fee to passengers that should be tacked on this summer. A previous $3 fee expired late last year.

        The approval comes less than a month before the expected release of a preliminary draft of an FAA Environmental Impact Study on the proposed third north-south runway.

        “We're not trying to clear the decks or anything like that,” said Dale Huber, airport deputy aviation director. “We've long had a five-year eligibility window for each stage, and this one's deadline is coming up.”


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