NORWICH – As is done annually, county lawmakers agreed to apply for another federal grant made available for planning and improvements at the Lt. Warren E. Eaton/Chenango County Airport.
This one, for $111,000, is to update the airport’s 5-year layout plans, conduct a feasibility study for possibly extending the runway, and to design the location for 12 additional T-hangars. The grant is made possible through the Federal Aviation Administration and sponsored locally by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
The county applied for and received a $514,000 grant last year to write the airport’s improvement plan though 2011. The last plan was written 12 years ago.
Planning and Economic Development Committee Chairperson Linda E. Natoli, R-City of Norwich, brought the resolution before the full board of town supervisors last week without first passing it through the committee structure. She said she had just learned last week about the June 1 grant application deadline.
Town of Preston Supervisor Peter C. Flanagan cast the sole vote against the measure, arguing that the county didn’t intend to extend the airport’s runway.
“We’ve talked for years about extending the runway at the airport. If we aren’t going to do it, why are we taking it (the grant)?” he asked during discussion.
While Natoli agreed that the likelihood of extending the airport’s runway would “probably never happen,” she said lawmakers should accept the “stimulus money.”..