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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena plans for airport improvements

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MASSENA - Nearly $1.5 million in Massena International Airport improvements may be on the way.

A 12,000 square foot airplane hanger, realigned entrance road to the terminal and purchase of emergency generators are all planned, according to Supervisor Joseph D. Gray. Massena already received a $759,000 state grant last year to construct the hanger, which requires an additional $134,100 local contribution the town will pay for through its fund balance. The hanger, which will accommodate up to 10 planes of varying sizes, is still in design phase and will likely be constructed next year.

At a special town council meeting this week, the board unanimously voted 3-0, with councilmen Charles A. Raiti and Albert N. Nicola absent, to award a $164,200 bid to S&L Electric to install backup generators. The council also voted 3-0 to award a $437,603.25 bid to Barrett Paving for the entrance road realignment. Both of those are contingent upon receiving funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, Mr. Gray said.

The realignment will feature additional handicapped parking spaces in front of the terminal, new crosswalks and additional landscaping. The realigned road will feature a one-way traffic circle to better direct vehicles, Mr. Gray said.

When the town constructed a new terminal several years ago, it kept the old entrance road, and this project would better align it with the facility, Mr. Gray said.

“The alignment will try to swing the road closer to the new terminal,” he said. “It’s more conducive to the flow of traffic because people will know where they’re going.”

Generators will ensure the airport doesn’t lose power during an outage. Mr. Gray said the structure was lucky to be in the Massena Electric Department service area.

“We’re fortunate our outages are infrequent and short,” he said. “This is a matter of being prepared for that.”

The town will find out if it receives FAA funding for those projects within the next several weeks. If awarded, construction on the road realignment could begin later this year, he said.

Should the FAA award funding for the road and generators, the town will have to pay 2.5 percent of each bid as a local contribution, Mr. Gray said.

“This is stuff that’s necessary and needed,” Mr. Gray said. “We’re bringing some federal dollars here that would otherwise be going elsewhere within the FAA.”

The road realignment could also better accommodate a future uptick in airport customers, Mr. Gray said. Town board members are continuing to examine ways to increase the number of passengers using the facility.

“It’s looking to the future,” Mr. Gray said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

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