Butler County airport to see improvements

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Butler County airport to see improvements

Butler County Regional Airport will rehabilitate runway area lights in the coming weeks.

County Commissioners on Monday approved an airport maintenance grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, which will provide $107,233 - or 95 percent - of the eligible costs of the $112,877 project. The county’s share is $5,644.

“We’re anxious to get the project moving forward,” said Ron Davis, airport administrator.

Davis said five companies submitted bids to do the installation of equipment for the runway area lights. He said he will be recommending that J. Ranck Electric be awarded the contract when it comes before the commissioners for consideration. Davis said the project should take about two weeks to complete.

The Butler County Regional Airport and Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field had applied for ODOT airport improvement grants for the 2016 funding cycle but neither were selected. However, ODOT notified both airports that funding became available after some communities that were selected were unable to come up with their 5 percent local match.

Davis said there have been times when the county airport has had to pass on some grants because local matching funds were not available. County officials have said they are focused on the safety and functionality of the airport and that the needs of businesses using it are being addressed so the airport contributes to local economic development.

Middletown’s airport received a $1.04 million ODOT grant rehabilitation/resurfacing of pavement for the taxi-ways and ramps. At its July 19 meeting, City Council approved its local match of $118,200 for the project and approved Brandstetter Carroll Inc. to do the engineering and grant administration for the project.

Matt Eisenbraun, assistant city economic development director, said the local match is in addition to other costs for survey, design and bidding.

The three publicly owned airports in Butler County — Butler County Regional Airport, Middletown Regional Airport and Miami University Airport — generate an economic impact of more than $63.7 million to the area, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The three airports generate more than $20.2 million in payroll and provide 611 jobs related to aviation activity.

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