For story in newsengin slugged OHJN 070116 Midd airport

Middletown cleared for state airport funding

The city had sought $1.04 million in state funding for the rehabilitation/resurfacing of pavement for the taxi-ways and ramps at Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field, but did not make the initial selection. However, additional funding became available when some other communities could not come up with the 5 percent match to the state’s 95 percent in funding.

Matt Eisenbraun, assistant city economic development director, said the local match will be about $118,000 in addition to other costs for survey, design and bidding.

He said the council will be asked at its July 18 to make a supplemental appropriation for the project and authorize the city manager to sign the contract for the planning and engineering needed with Bradstetter Carroll Inc.

“Once the final engineering is complete, we will proceed with the bid process and if the weather holds, attempt to complete as much of the project as possible yet this year,” Eisenbraun said.

He said officials with the city, ODOT and Bradstetter Carroll Inc. will conduct a preliminary walk of the entire project to review any changes in the pavement conditions since it was inspected as part of the regular process of maintenance in August 2015. Eisenbraun said the airport is a tremendous asset for Middletown but its basic infrastructure needs to be maintained.

“We look forward to the completion of the project,” he said. “The corporate and private pilots that use the airport regularly, or as a one day guest, will enjoy the comfort and safety the new pavement brings.”

In May, city officials said they had the local match funding ready in case such an opportunity became available. At its June 7 meeting, council unanimously approved an emergency resolution to enable city officials to submit the funding application.

Eisenbraun said these state grants will cover about 60 percent of the items on the airport’s maintenance list from 2015. In addition, it will also help the city open up the western areas of the airport near Hook Business Park to focus on larger development opportunities in the future.

Ron Davis, Butler County Regional Airport administrator, said ODOT has given verbal approval but has not forwarded the final paperwork as of Thursday afternoon.

“We’re in the queue and just waiting,” Davis said.

The Butler County Airport is seeking an estimated $116,993 in state funding for rehabilitation work on its runway area lights.

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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