The Yeager Airport Board voted Wednesday to “actively participate” in the plans to finance a bridge for Coonskin Park near Charleston in hopes of helping the West Virginia National Guard.
Former state Adjutant General Allen Tackett has been urging several governmental bodies and groups to get behind the $9 million project. Tackett believes the bridge is needed so the current entrance to Coonskin can be cut-off to improve security at National Guard headquarters.
“We are going to actively participate with the West Virginia Air National Guard, the state and county and other local leaders to craft a plan to finance that bridge project,” Yeager Airport Manager Rick Atkinson said.
Tackett and others believe the security issue needs to be dealt with to help keep the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing off the Dept. of Defense’s BRAC list next year.
Atkinson also believes a bridge for a new entrance will help Coonskin Park.
The National Guard is looking at a possible bond to finance the bridge, which has already been designed and some property purchased.
“We’re on record on being able to do our part as an airport to come up with and participate in the financial plan to have the bridge constructed,” Atkinson said.
If a bond is floated it may require annual payments for many years by a number of groups. Atkinson says the Air Guard is key for Yeager. It provides fire service and now even more.
“We just entered into a more robust memorandum of understanding on security forces and we’re actively working with the West Virginia National Guard on other development opportunities,” Atkinson said.
The security issue is the only issue that hasn’t been addressed since the 130th was put on the BRAC list a several years ago. It was eventually removed from that list.