Airport grant makes short list
That virtually ensures funding will be forthcoming, according to Community Development Director Mike Bisset. He rated the city’s prospects “extremely high.”
The state had more than $42 million in new funds to distribute, plus $369,000 in money saved on earlier projects. A Connect Oregon review committee met last week to consider applications for the funds from around the state.
The committee recommended 37 of the applications for at least partial funding. It ranked McMinnville’s application 20th on the priority list and proposed it for full funding.
The recommendations are subject to approval by the Oregon Transportation Commission. The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing at a meeting set for July 17 in Salem and make a final decision at a meeting set for August 21-22 in Ontario.
The Federal Aviation Administration considers McMinnville Municipal Airport an important component of the Northwest aviation network and its main runway reconstruction need a high priority. On that basis, it was able to secure federal funding for the work, subject to the city coming up with $800,000 in local matching money.
The state grant would largely cover that.
A summary of the Connect Oregon recommendations shows 15 percent allocated to aviation projects, 17 percent to bike and pedestrian projects, 26 percent to port and marina projects, 32 percent to rail projects and 8 percent to transit projects. The enabling legislation requires each of the state’s five geographic regions to be awarded at least 10 percent of the money, assuming it has qualified projects, and the summary shows that requirement was met.
Connect Oregon focuses on improving connections between the automobile network and networks serving other modes of transportation, whether land, air or water. Since being created by the 2005 Legislature, it has funded more than 140 projects.
This year, the program drew 104 applications seeking more than $124 million. They were vetted by modal and regional committees before coming before the final review committee.