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Brookhaven airport plans include $3 million overlay

More improvements are on the horizon for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport, including a $3 million runway mill and overlay project and hangar upgrades.

Ryan Holmes with Dungan Engineering and an advisor on the airport board, told the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Tuesday that the airport may receive $3 million to $5 million in grants for the improvements.

He met with FAA officials for three hours in Brookhaven Tuesday.

“We had a good meeting today about the airport and the long range plans,” Holmes said. “I feel very confident that we’ll get a lot of federal funds over the next five to 10 years, specifically the next five. I feel certain we’ll get anywhere from $3 million to $5 million. That’s very encouraging for the work we can do.”

Contractors are currently finishing work at the airport paid for with a competitive grant for $173,903 awarded in March. The grant is from the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s  Multi-Modal Transportation Improvement Program which establishes a special fund, into which state funds may be deposited to be expended by MDOT for the improvement of airports, ports, railroads and transit systems in the state.

They’re applying for another grant for next year.

“We’re hoping we can use this multi-modal grant we’ve already got to match another grant,” Holmes said. “It’s some clever maneuvering we can make to get a little bit more money.”

That application deadline is Nov. 1.

Holmes updated aldermen on the work currently underway at the airport. The fuel tanks were recently given a facelift.

“It looks nice,” he said. “The rusted fuel tanks that were there are nice and shiny.”

The airport receives $150,000 each year in federal funds, which can be banked for big projects. One project penciled in for 2020 is a complete mill and overlay for the runway, Holmes said.

“They’ll help us pay for that. That’s estimated at $3 million. We’ll be responsible for 5 percent of that,” he said.

Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore seem surprised at the spending.

“The airport gets used that much? I’m just curious,” Moore said.

“It does,” Holmes said. “It would surprise you how much it does get used. A lot of our business and industry, a lot of our companies employ a lot of folks, and they use it a whole lot.”

Holmes will present the exact numbers at the Oct. 17 meeting in which he will also go over a master plan of improvements for the airport for the next five years.