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Ogdensburg, Massena airports get $7.1 million in federal funds

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Two St. Lawrence County airports will receive a total of $7.1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.

Ogdensburg International Airport will receive $3 million from the federal government to repave its 5,200-foot-long runway. The town of Massena received a $4.1 million grant to pay for fencing, safety equipment, rehabilitation of one runway and safety improvements to another.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced release of the funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Frederick S. Morrill, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority deputy executive director and chief financial officer, said the FAA funding is appreciated.

“We’re excited about this,” he said. “It’s great news.”

OBPA Director of Operations Steven J. Lawrence said that the repaving, which will be done by Barrett Paving, Norwood, will take three months to complete. The work will be done at night so it won’t disturb Cape Air commuter flights or other aviation activity at airport.

“There will be no disruption of service,” Mr. Lawrence said.

No starting date has been set for the repaving.

Massena officials are no less enthusiastic about the town’s grant.

“We’re very happy,” Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said. “This is work that needs to be done, and obviously the town doesn’t 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 already has budgeted.

Mr. Gray said the town applied for the grant “a while ago.” Runway rehabilitation will take place on Runway 9-27, which is 4,000 feet long. Runway 5-23 will be re-marked.

“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 don’t know,” the supervisor said.

In addition to the work on the two runways, Mr. Gray said, fencing will be purchased, as will firefighting 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 grant’s actual amount was $4,173,110.

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