MASSENA - The town of Massena received a $4.1 million grant on Wednesday from the United States Department of Transportation to pay for fencing, safety equipment, rehabilitation of one runway and safety improvements to another.
Were very happy, said Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray. This is work that needs to be done and obviously the town doesnt have the resources to fund this on our own.
Mr. Gray said the grant will pay for 95 percent of the work, with another grant from the state covering 2.5 percent of the work, leaving the town with a local match of 2.5 percent, which he said the town has already budgeted for.
Mr. Gray said the grant was something the town applied for a while ago, and he was confident that if it was ever actually funded the town would receive the money it needed.
We had a pretty good feeling we would get the grant if the feds made the money available, he said. What was a surprise was that the money finally became available.
Mr. Gray said runway rehabilitation will take place on Runway 9-27, which is 4,000 feet long and 100 feet long with 25-foot paved shoulders. Runway 5-23 will be remarked.
The marking might be something we can get done this year, but the reconstruction of the runway is quite a process. Whether or not that can get done this year, I dont know.
In addition to the work on the two runways, Mr. Gray said some fencing will be purchased as well as fire fighting equipment and turnout gear.
The runway rehab is the bulk of the project, but even the marking, which is essentially painting is $300,000 or $400,000, he said, adding the grants actual amount was $4,173,110.
The grant was announced Wednesday morning through a joint release from Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrands office. Congressman William L. Owens also sent out a release announcing the grant.
These grants are good news for St. Lawrence County, he said, noting that the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority received a $3,103,654 grant for runway rehabilitation at its airport. In the long-term, upgraded facilities and infrastructure improvements will help connect area travelers to larger airports and help grow the regions economy by making doing business in the north country easier.
Sen. Schumer called the grants a massive federal investment, noting airports in Watertown, and Malone also received grants.
I am pleased that the FAA has made this important investment for runway upgrades and safety equipment at these north country airports.
Sen. Gillibrand agreed.
This is an important investment for these north country airports, she said. Improving these airports infrastructure can help provide better, safer service for travelers and businesses, keep more flights on time and help strengthen the north countrys economy.