Galion gets $30,000 to help airport during COVID-19; Port Bucyrus gets $312,000

By Russ Kent - Galion Inquirer

GALION — Galion received $30,000 in airport funding, courtesy of the CARES Act, in mid-April

Matt Echelberry, communications director for the City of Galion, said the money was unexpected, but will be used for general maintenance.

”The $30,000 Galion will be receiving will likely be used for general airport operating expenses — staff wages, utilities, etc,” Echelberry said.

The Federal government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to stimulate the economy. This could be just the first unexpected payday for cities and village in Ohio. This $108.8 million was divided among 97 airports in Ohio as part of a program to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program. In total, the feds are doling out $10 billion to airports nationwide.

“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a news release.

Ohio’s cut of the federal dollars includes more than $46.3 million for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, nearly $31.5 million for the John Glenn Columbus International Airport and more than $14.5 million for the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport.

“We need to be sure that our airports continue to be able to provide a safe environment for their employees and passengers,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said in a news release. “This funding will ensure that our airports have the resources they need to continue serving our community after we get through this crisis.”

The money supports ongoing operations at commercial and general aviation airports and offsets lost revenue stemming from a decline in passenger traffic, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) news release. Airports may use the funds for capital expenditures, operating expenses, payroll, utilities and debt payments.

“Ensuring these airports remain fully operational during and after the Coronavirus Pandemic is vitally important,” U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said in a news release.

Also in this area. Mansfield Lahm Airport received $69,000 and Port Bucyrus in Bucyrus, also received $30.000 as did Marion Airport and Morrow County Airport in Mount Gilead.

In a different round of funding, Port Bucyrus received $282,600 last week.

That funding is expected to be used for expanding the apron; installing perimeter fencing; obstruction marking/lighting removal; to reconstruct the airport beacon; rehabilitate the taxiway; and to seal the runway pavement surface and pavement joints.

Because different part of the government are reporting funding on different days and under different circumstances, Galion Airport may have received another $30,000 this week.

By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer