PARKERSBURG - Airports in Wood and Jackson counties have received another $1 million combined in stimulus funds for facility improvements, federal officials announced Wednesday.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport and the Jackson County Airport will each receive $500,000 through the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Improvement Program to pave taxiways and runways, according to joint releases issued by Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-1st.
Terry Moore, manager of the regional airport at Williamstown, said he was unaware of the latest round of funding for the facility, but was pleased nontheless. The regional airport on Friday received $700,000 through the FAA for a new aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle.
"And we don't have to do a local match for the stimulus money," he said.
The taxiway project, unlike the emergency vehicle, will pump money into the local economy, Moore said. Generally those jobs employ local businesses and workers while the emergency vehicle will go to the highest bidder from outside the area and in other states, he said.
"That will go into our local economy," Moore said.
The rescue vehicle in comparison to the paving project was a higher priority from the FAAs perspective, Moore said.
"Those are high priority items for commercial airports," he said.
The funds are from the $1.1 billion allocated to the FAA through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February by Congress mostly along party lines. West Virginia's congressional delegation voted in favor, except for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, the only Republican representing West Virginia in Congress.
Jackson County is in the 2nd Congressional District.
Ken Ross of NGC Corp., a consulting firm for the Jackson County Airport, said the money will be used to pave the apron around the terminal and fuel stations. About 4,000 square yards will be paved, he said.
"It's in bad need of rehabilitation," Ross said.
Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
"This money will support a capacity project that will improve the efficiency of the National Airspace System, promote commerce in West Virginia, and help boost the economy,'' he said.
Byrd said air service is essential to the states transportation system.
"The importance of air transportation to continued economic development in the Parkersburg area is critical," Mollohan said. "This grant results from a great deal of hard work put in by the airport authority and local leaders. I was pleased to join Sen. Byrd and Sen. Rockefeller in supporting those efforts and the federal program that makes this grant possible."