Monday, February 19, 2018

Richard B. Russell Regional Airport (KRMG) manager hoping for additional funding out of DC trip

Mike Mathews, Richard B. Russell Regional Airport manager

The Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce is reporting an early sell-out for its annual trip to lobby lawmakers and federal agencies in Washington.

Richard B. Russell Regional Airport Manager Mike Mathews said meetings with FAA leadership have been invaluable in the past and he’s hoping discussions this year will result in more money for a couple of big projects.

Among the topics locals hope to discuss is funding for security fencing near an extension of the runway. The engineering has been completed but Mathews is seeking funding of close to $615,000 for the perimeter fencing, most likely in the FY 2020 spending cycle.

“We decided to wait until after the runway extension was completed to do it,” Mathews said.

Mathews is also hoping that local leaders will put a bug in the agency’s ear related to funding for a new paving overlay on the main north-south runway that would coincide with construction of the 1,000-foot runway extension.

The estimated cost for the overlay is $2.5 million.

Chamber Director of Business and Industry Services Ken Wright said that 26 people are signed up for the March 14-16 trip, but there would be some room for others who are willing to make their own flight arrangements.

“We’re going to be meeting with Representative Tom Graves, Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue, we’ll meet with all of them individually,” Wright said. “We will also meet with representatives of specific agencies, typically that may be the Appalachian Regional Commission or maybe the Department of Education, the Federal Highway Administration.”

Wright said the visits have paid off in the past. Last year a group of us were in a meeting with Federal Highway Administration and they got GDOT on the phone.

“It was the first time we heard for sure they were going to build the Rome-Cartersville Economic Development Corridor,” Wright said.

Wright said the previous trips have also resulted in Appalachian Regional Commission funding for a number of projects. Some of those ARC funds have been for high-speed broadband internet service and infrastructure work at the airport.

Original article ➤

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