Claremont to receive federal money to rehab tarmac

Valley News Correspondent
Thursday, May 16, 2019

CLAREMONT — The city is getting $700,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration’s supplemental grant fund to rehabilitate the municipal airport’s tarmac.

Claremont Fire Chief Bryan Burr, who is also the airport manager, said in an email that the grant, unlike the one the city was awarded for the construction of a new terminal building, does not require a city match of 5%.

“The grant funds were competitive, and there was no guarantee we would realize the funding,” Burr said in an email. “So it came as a surprise to us as it was a long shot that we would be awarded the grant.”

Claremont and Portsmouth, N.H., were the only airports in the state to be awarded grant money under the most recent round of program grants.

The grant is for work on the apron, which Burr described as “the portion of the paved area of the airport that leads from the terminal area to the taxiway which then leads to the runway.”

The grant for the apron rehab is not the only project at the airport; the city has been planning to demolish and rebuild the terminal for about two years. Claremont is awaiting the release of a previously awarded $730,000 grant from the FAA for work on the terminal.

Burr anticipated that the grant release won’t happen until December, which means the project would not start until spring of next year. Pine Hill Construction was awarded the bid to demolish the old terminal and construct the new one.

The city’s 5% match for the terminal project would be in the neighborhood of $43,000 and will come from the airport reserve fund; another 5% of the total cost would come from the state Department of Transportation, Burr said.

“We will see these two major airport improvement projects within the next year or two as it takes time to scope, bid and award the bid before work can begin on any project,” Burr said.

Burr said the city also will apply for a grant to resurface the runway and put in new lighting. He said that project would cost about $3 million.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.