Airport gets $1.9M for work

Airport gets $1.9M for work

Tarmac, half of taxiway will be milled, repaved

By Bill Engle • Staff Writer • September 13, 2010
The renovation of the Richmond Municipal Airport will continue this year with plans in place to repave the airport’s terminal apron and half its taxiway.

Airport officials just announced the city will receive a $1.9 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to mill and repave the airport’s tarmac and half its taxiway. Officials said they will apply for another FAA grant next year to pave the rest of the taxiway.
The work continues the local effort to update facilities at the airport.
In recent years, FAA grants through the Indiana Department of Transportation have paid for repairs to the main runway, including new lights and signs, for expansion of the tarmac and for installation of an automated weather observation system.
“The state has indicated that Richmond is an important airport for this part of Indiana,” said Greg Stiens, director of city public works and engineering, which oversees the airport.
“It’s imperative we keep our airport in good shape because it’s an important part of commerce here,” Stiens said.
Stiens said final construction documents have not been signed but Milestone Contractors has been hired to do the repairs. That company will be paid $1,850,030 for the work, which is scheduled to begin by the end of this month and be completed by year’s end.
Total cost of the project is $2,013,285 with a $75,497 local match and $25,166 from the state.
Richmond Common Councilman Jack Elstro said landing the grant is a plus for the city.
“If we didn’t get that money, somebody else would,” Elstro said. “We’ve spent a lot of money out there and someday it may be a real a blessing to us.”
Richmond Common Council this week approved by an 8-1 vote accepting the federal grant. Council members Elstro, Kelley Cruse-Nicholson, Bruce Wissel, Bing Welch, Larry Parker, Bob Goodwin, Clay Miller and Diana Pappin voted in favor and Phil Quinn voted against.
Quinn said he supports the airport but cast the vote because he was opposed to the city’s plan to use Richmond Redevelopment Commission money to fund its share of the local match.
“That money could be used for other structures in the city or for other projects,” Quinn said. “Where’s the (Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County)? Why don’t they fund this? Isn’t this an economic development project?”

Reporter Bill Engle: (765) 973-4481 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (765) 973-4481 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or bengle

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