County fails to land grant for airport

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County was recently rejected for a state grant to do projects at the county airport, but a county official said some of the work may get done anyway.

County Planning Director James Mraz reported last week to the Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee that Fulton County was not awarded a grant to perform work at the airport’s Fixed-Based Operator building.

The board authorized Mraz in May to submit an application for a $64,000 state grant for airport projects. He said the state’s 80 percent share of the grant would total $57,600, and the county would chip in $6,400. At the time, he said equipment upgrades and structural renovations were eligible for funding under the state Department of Transportation’s Aviation Capital Grant Program.

Last spring, the county received notification the 2013-14 state budget included $7 million for capital projects at general aviation airports across the state.

But Mraz told the committee he wasn’t sure of why the county will not be awarded the grant money.

The grant would have gone to: heating-ventilation-air conditioning system in the FBO building, LED light bulbs for runway-taxiway lights, lighting and windows in the FBO building, wireless internet access in the FBO building.

Mraz said county Superintendent of Highways and Facilities Mark Yost had put $24,000 into his budget for 2013 to replace original HVAC units at the airport, but it was hoping the 80 percent grant money would supplant that.

“We put that project somewhat on hold [awaiting grant approval],” he said.

But with the airport grant now not being awarded by the state DOT, he said, Yost is now still looking to do that project. Mraz said the Facilities Department will proceed with replacing thru-wall units in the FBO Building off Route 67 with a central heating/AC system with funds already included in the 2013 airport budget.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at