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U. S. Senators provide money for state airports to make capital improvements

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley recently announced more than $2.7 million in grants to Oregon Airports, including $57,848 to the Mulino State Airport.

These annual federal transportation grants allow airports to improve infrastructure and help maintain quality of life for Oregonians living and working in all these communities, according to Matt Maass, state airport manager for the Oregon Department of Aviation. Grants also were given to airports in Lakeview, Florence, The Dalles, Albany, Astoria, Corvallis, Independence, McMinnville, Salem and Scappose.

The money most likely will be used to make capital improvements including removing obstructions and providing environmental studies, noted Maass. Aurora Airport was not listed among the cities where grants were given most likely because they didn't fill out an application, he added.

"These grants happen every year. They are standard grants for maintenance infrastructure across the United States," Maass said.

"Infrastructure investment, like these grants, is essential for secure and reliable Oregon airports throughout our state," Wyden said in a release. "These transportation resources help maintain quality of life for Oregonians living and working in all these communities."

"Small airports connect rural Oregon to economic opportunity, health care services and more. I will continue to use my seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to fight for these much needed transportation grants for airports across the state," Merkley said in a release.

"With these Federal Aviation Administration grants, we are able to leverage local dollars to upgrade lighting and runway safety improvements," said Erin Reynolds, Florence city manager speaking for all the airports. "Airports like ours in rural areas are a vital link to the rest of the world, enabling us to have better access and ability to provide for business trade, healthcare and emergency response just like anyone else."

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