County gets airport improvement grant

By TYLER J. BASKFIELD

Daily Press writer

Concords won't be landing at the Craig-Moffat County Airport any time soon, but there will be some improvements that will benefit the planes and people who do fly out of the airport.

Gov. Bill Owens recently announced that Moffat County has been awarded $56,800 for updates to the Craig-Moffat County Airport, as part of a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics.

"This funding will help the county with its infrastructure needs and will benefit the entire community," Owens said.

Debra Murray, assistant to the Moffat County Commissioners, said the Moffat County administration office wrote the grant application and received 100 percent funding. Murray also went to Colorado Springs in October to give a presentation to the Colorado Department of Transportation on the grant application.

"We're very pleased with the grant," Murray said. "They gave us exactly what we asked for."

Murray had to study up on airports before completing the grant application. She said the money will go toward sealing the runways and ramps at the airport.

Long term, it will help save money by preventing the complete repaving of the runways.

The paved runways are like roads and if cracks are allowed to remain, water will seep in, expand when it freezes and eventually erode the pavement.

What means a bumpy ride for cars, can be fatal for the small planes that frequent the airport.

"We don't want any accidents because of cracks in the runway," Murray said.

She said the county has designed a five year plan for maintenance and improvements to the airport and this grant will help complete one large portion of the project.

The Craig-Moffat County Airport services a variety of planes, those owned by residents who store them at the facility, corporate planes owned by Tri-State Generation and Transmission and the Flight for Life helicopter. The number of planes flying in and out of the airport can vary from none to 15 or more a day, according to airport officials.

The Colorado Aeronautical Board reviewed 46 grant applications and awarded a total of $1,996,432 for 28 individual airport enhancement projects.

Money from the grants is solely for aviation purposes, including runway repair, pavement maintenance, ramp updating. Funding for these grants comes from aviation fuel tax revenues. A number of the awards were made to assist airport sponsors in meeting the local requirement for matching funds to federal projects.

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