The airport fuel pump project in Rush City has had a few setbacks recently. Now the city will move forward with the time-sensitive project this fall and into the winter.

Details on the fuel pump project for the Rush City Regional Airport were presented at the City Council meeting on Oct. 25. The city will compose a proposal for a grant request from MnDOT to assist with the project, since MnDOT does have this project on its emergency list. If the project is not performed soon, the airport will not have jet fuel available, creating a huge impact on the city. It was the council’s decision to move forward and propose the project be performed this fall.

City Administrator Amy Mell mentioned that she asked if the approval to line all three fuel tanks would be granted by MnDOT, as that is a big part of the project.

“I talked to one of the SEH engineers today and asked her what she thought about, you know, our chances of MnDOT approving lining yet this fall and she said, since it is an emergency and we are not able to provide jet fuel, otherwise she feels that won’t be a problem with MnDOT,” Mell said.

Of course, council did discuss how this project can be performed over the winter as extreme temperatures can occur.

“It is the lining that’s the concern for the weather; the rest of it isn’t,” Mell said.

Airport engineer Jake Jorgenson was able to confirm if the curing of the fuel tanks could still be performed.

“They would get to the work over the winter when the parts come in. As far as the lining goes, I spoke to them and they said that they could do the lining with the forced cure. They basically build an enclosure around the tanks and then under a controlled environment that way with heaters so the tanks cure out,” Jorgenson said.

Within this proposal, if council were to move forward with this project right away, it would cost $166,826 for labor, equipment and lining all three tanks. The city anticipates that all three jet fuel tanks will need to be relined, which will include forced curing. The forced curing will be an additional $6,125 per tank.

If council were to propose this project to take place in spring of 2022, it would cost $109,887. Temperatures would need to be roughly 50 degrees or warmer to start this project, which could be into late May or early June.

If the grant goes through with MnDOT, MnDOT would pay 70% of the project whether it is decided for fall or spring.

As council decided to move forward and request the grant with the proposal of conducting the project this fall, the total amount the city would pay is $50,047 with MnDOT granting $116,777. Despite the price difference, council felt it is important to proceed right away to avoid any future losses.

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