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Gavernment acting fast to aid Airmate expansion

This article is brought to you by The Bryan Times

By Max Reinhart

May 17, 2022

Bryan Board of Public Affairs members Annette Schreiner, left, and Jim Salsbury work during Tuesday’s BPA meeting at Bryan Municipal Utilities offices on East Edgerton Street.

Photo by Max Reinhart

Government is said to often move at a snail’s pace but officials in Bryan are working quickly to help an expanding city business.

The Bryan Board of Public Affairs on Tuesday approved two pieces of legislation related to the pending 26,000-square-foot expansion project at Airmate, a fabricator of parts for the medical, law enforcement, quilting/crafting, signage, automation equipment, conveyor system, food processing and transportation industries, located on County Road D, adjacent to the Williams County Airport.

And the board also scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23, when members plan to award a bid for a project to install a new water line to the plant. “That should take care of getting this process started,” Bryan Municipal Utilities Director Nathan Gardner told the board during its regular meeting Tuesday. Airmate President Carol Schreder Czech “has been waiting a while and we want to expedite this as soon as possible.”

Since last year, Czech has been seeking cooperation among her business, BMU and the city and county governments to bring more water supply to Airmate in order to meet safety codes that would apply following the expansion.

While BMU is taking the project on, Airmate is making a donation of the anticipated cost, $282,220 to the city of Bryan. The resolutions the board approved Tuesday formally request city council to approve the donation and to appropriate the money into the Water Capital Reserve Fund. For its part, council rescheduled this week’s regular meeting from Monday to Friday, to allow BPA to pass the legislation first.

The expansion is expected to bring a handful of new jobs to Airmate while greatly increasing its value.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

• Heard from resident Gene Rediger, who asked about the possibility of installing a fiber-to-home network in Bryan. The board and BMU officials were receptive to the suggestion and agreed to look further into the idea.

• Approved a resolution removing all references to cable TV services and rates from the Communication Department’s General Rules and Regulation, following up on the recent decision to cease cable TV operations at BMU. Gardner reminded customers that BMU cable service ends on May 31 though he stressed that internet service will continue.

• Approved the promotion of Chad Fitzenrider to probationary water plant supervisor. He has been with BMU since 2014 and officials said his leadership skills have developed over that time. He succeeds Jimmy Dunning who was recently promoted to water superintendent.

• Approved the hiring of Derick Wyrick to the probationary lineworker II position.

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