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Peru airport gets federalmoney as work continues

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

The Peru Municipal Airport recently received an influx of federal cash that officials here will put toward ongoing projects at the airstrip northwest of town.

“We are sort of in the middle of it,” Jim Clary, a member of the city’s Board of Aviation Commissioners told the Tribune on Wednesday when asked about the projects.

United States Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the release of $495 million in airport infrastructure grants, administered by the Federal Aviation Administration, in late June.

The money is the second allotment of a $3.18 billion program for airports across the country.

Of the recent expenditure, the Peru airport got $35,000 to “rehabilitate airport lighting,” according to a news release from Chao’s office.

Clary said Wednesday that that money will go to pay for work that has already been done to update the approach lighting at the airport, and that they will also get a little over $6,000 to help pay for the FAA’s testing of that lighting.

The work, he said, is part of a large multi-year plan to update and replace aging infrastructure and convert the lighting to LED technology.

He said they’ve also replaced and added new windsocks and made other improvements on the ground.

“This is a construction phase year,” he said.

Next year will be a design phase followed by another year of construction.

“That will be replacing a lot of the wiring that’s in the ground and the runway lights themselves,” he said.

After that, he said, the work should be completed.

In her office’s release, Chao called the grants a “significant investment” in airports across the state that “will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation.”

Other airports in the state to receive money during this round of funding included:

Auburn/DeKalb Co.–$430,000 Extend RunwayGoshen Municipal - $540,450 to rehabilitate runway, taxiwayIndianapolis Downtown–$77,966 to build a fuel farmKnox/Starke County - $600,000 for runway extensionMadison Municipal–$1,093,082 to install perimeter fencingMuncie/Delaware Co.–$28,440 to conduct environmental studySalem Municipal - $150,000 for runway constructionWabash Municipal–$444,078 for taxiway rehabilitation.