Haley Walker

Grant County Regional Airport Manager Haley Walker addresses the Grant County Court May 27.

The Grant County Regional Airport will only need $3.3 million of the $6.25 million grant the airport applied for last year.

Airport Manager Haley Walker said the airport is saving the taxpayers money because the project bid from the construction contractor and the engineering consultants only came out to about half of what they originally asked for.

The $6.25 million grant was secured through the federal Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program.

The large federal grant with no match required will allow the airport to “decouple” its two runways and make takeoffs and landings safer.

Walker said the the construction of the project will take place this summer.

Runway 9/27, which runs roughly east-west, and Runway 17/35, which runs roughly north-south, crisscross near the south end of the airfield. Walker said it had been identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a potential hazard.

“As a result of completing this project, we will be able to make future improvements at the airport such as widening taxiways,” Walker said.

Additionally, the airport received $20,000 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to tackle maintenance projects, such as the purchase of a pod sweeper and improved fencing.

“The $20,000 through the CARES Act was excellent news that doesn’t have to come out of our current budget,” she said.

Also, Walker said the north apron reconstruction project, repairs to the deteriorating apron, began on May 26.

“If I was to tell you what the number one thing that local airport users wanted from day one when I started four years ago, it would be that project so that’s exciting news to get that taken care of,” Walker said.

Meanwhile, Walker said, the environmental assessment project, which looks at the next several years of projects and getting the environmental clearance for those future projects will save time and money, starts this summer as well.

Walker said the grants and funding are a combination of both state and federal funding streams.

She said the total comes to roughly $7 million.

“Yeah, it’s kind of neat where I believe it’s only gonna be about $40,000 out of our airport budget for almost $7 million,” Walker said. “So I would definitely call that a good use of funds and leveraging of grants that are available.”

Reporter

Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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