McCOOK, Nebraska -- City staff anticipates the wildlife fence at McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport to have full enclosure of the area it will cover by the end of the month. Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff told members of the McCook Airport Advisory Board, Tuesday afternoon during their regularly scheduled meeting at Heritage Senior Center, that once enclosure was reached contractors would focus on trenching and removal of the old fencing.
The trenching will be necessary to complete the project's requirement of a one foot underground skirt to accompany the above ground fencing.
The fencing being removed will provide a portion of what will be needed to fence a new city dog park. The dog park will encompass approximately one city block and is planned to be located on property at East 11th and C streets.
The FAA mandated fence project received heavy criticism from both citizens and city staff in its original version, which had a price tag of $1.7 million and required a 12 foot high fence with an additional four foot below ground barrier.
The majority of the expense of the fence, which ultimately was reduced to $543,456 after FAA requirements were scaled back, has been approved to be covered by grants. The City of McCook will be responsible for a little more than $26,000.
Upon completion the project will be a welcome site to city staff, who have been tasked with weekend and evening patrols of the airport runways prior to every commercial flight, to ensure the absence of wildlife.