WILMINGTON — A $1.6 million project to resurface the runway at the Clinton County Airport (aka Clinton Field) may occur three years earlier than planned and possibly be 100 percent FAA-funded, too.
The welcome prospect stems from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) having discretionary funds available at this time because some of the big airports are not going ahead with projects they were anticipated to do, said Melody Waldmann with the Clinton County Regional Airport Authority Board.
The Regional Airport Authority Board’s long-range plan for airport improvements had been looking ahead to — and already saving funds for — a runway resurfacing project for 2025-ish. But the FAA phoned Waldmann earlier this month to see whether the runway project could be moved up.
In addition to getting the project done sooner, there’s the possibility it might be 100 percent funded by the FAA if the Regional Airport Authority Board chooses to move forward with it.
Normally with the FAA’s discretionary funding of Ohio projects, the federal transportation agency covers 90 percent of the cost, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) 5 percent, and the remaining 5 percent comes from the local airport, said Clinton County Regional Airport Authority Board member Jeff Nimmo.
At this juncture moving up the runway project is not certain, but if things go as hoped, the design phase of the work likely would take place next year in 2021, and the construction work likely occur the following year in 2022.
Waldmann and Nimmo met Wednesday with the Clinton County commissioners about the project possibility. Commissioners indicated they are willing to front money to the Airport Authority over a short-term, probably during the construction phase, with the understanding that it would get reimbursed later into the county coffers.
After Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods raised the idea of having something in writing, Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry R. Steed said if the Airport Authority can write a memo regarding time frame and dollar amount, he thinks “we can make this work.”
Located on North Curry Road in Union Township, Clinton Field is a county-owned airport. Flight training and airplane rental are also available there through Great Plains Enterprises LLC.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.