County approves $200K for airport runways

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Wilson County commissioners unanimously approved more than $211,000 in local match funding for the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport improvement project on Tuesday.

The airport recently secured a multimillion-dollar grant from state and federal officials for improvements to its runway and taxiway. While 90 percent of the $14.8 million project will be funded through that grant, it requires a 10 percent local match funded by five entities — Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties and the cities of Wilson and Rocky Mount.

The money will be allocated over a two-year period, officials said.

While commissioners voted for the funding request, it’s contingent on whether the other four prospective partners do so as well.

Last week, airport director Dion Viventi requested an allocation of $211,458 from Wilson County for match funding for the project. But commissioners postponed the vote. They had more questions regarding grant requirements and the funding process. All five entities have to be on board and approve each allocation for the airport to receive the multimillion dollar grant.

Local matches include $211,458 each from Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties as well as $422,916 each from the city of Wilson and the city of Rocky Mount. The total local match comes in at $1.48 million. Nash and Edgecombe counties have already approved the airport’s request, Viventi told commissioners Tuesday.

The city of Rocky Mount and the city of Wilson are slated to vote on it this week.

“The runway is a very old runway,” Viventi told commissioners prior to the vote. “The time is here. And we have an incredible offer from the state and federal government with their help of 90 percent of it.”