Decatur Airport among those receiving state improvement funds

2013-01-24T04:01:00Z Decatur Airport among those receiving state improvement fundsBy ALLISON PETTY - H&R Staff Writer
January 24, 2013 4:01 am  • 

DECATUR — Several Central Illinois airports will receive state funds for infrastructure improvements, officials said Wednesday.

Nineteen airports are set to receive $7.3 million from Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now capital program, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The money must be matched by $1.6 million in local sources.

Decatur Airport is set to receive $450,000 to rehabilitate the terminal building auto parking lot. The funds must be matched by $50,000 from the Decatur Park District, which controls the airport.

“It’s work that we expected to do,” airport director Joe Attwood said. “We didn’t know that we would get the grant this year for sure.”

Airport operations manager Tim Wright said the parking lot has not been resurfaced since 1984. It was unclear Wednesday when the work would begin.

Taylorville Municipal Airport is set to receive $360,000 from the state which, matched by $40,000 in local funds, would pay for half of the total cost to construct a 700-foot extension to a taxiway that is parallel to a runway.

The remaining $400,000 is set to come from funds collected by the federal government from taxes paid by airplane passengers and on airplane fuel purchases.

Airport records clerk Howard Moma said the construction would resolve a safety issue at the airport.

“The (Federal Aviation Administration) has priorities, and safety naturally is high on the priority. Before we do anything else, they want that taxiway extension completed,” Moma said.

Coles County Memorial Airport has been promised $171,000. Coupled with $19,000 in local funds, the money would pay for repairing and improving the pavement of a frontage road at the airport.

The road is used by traffic to the airport hangar as well as police and ambulance crews, as the county’s 911 center is located on the same road, airport manager Andrew Fearn said.

Fearn said the road’s pavement is more than 30 years old. The airport has not received state money for improvements in several years, he said, and the frontage road project is not eligible for federal aid that the airport does receive.

Airports in Springfield and Peoria are also set to receive $747,000 and $369,000, respectively.|421-6986

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