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The airport will use the money for maintenance and/or its resiliency study report

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Scappoose Industrial Airpark was one of many airports across Oregon that received grant money — $30,000 in this case — as part of a federal coronavirus relief package.In an era where so many of us could use a little help, Scappoose Industrial Airpark got just that in April.

On April 14, as part of a larger $140 million federal Covid-19 relief program for Oregon airports, Scappoose Industrial Airpark received a grant of $30,000 to help it respond to the economic fallout from the coronavirus public health crisis.

The funding for airports from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows them to cover operating expenses that arise from sharp air travel declines and other economic losses in the wake of COVID-19.

"In April, we received an email saying that the port had received $30,000 in the CARES grant," said Doug Hayes, executive director for the Port of Columbia County. "Money was sent to every county or regional airport in the country, (but) we did not apply for it, so I was kind of shocked."

In announcing the grants back in mid-April, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said:

"The economic impact from this global pandemic has devastated airports in Oregon and nationwide. … I am gratified these resources are en route to ensure our state's airports will continue running in communities that rely on them for travel, the transport of goods and more."

Fellow Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley added this:

"This relief funding is incredibly important to help Oregon's airports, large and small, deal with the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. … We need to make sure they have the resources they need to get to the other side of this crisis."

Hayes said the grant will go to one of two purposes at Scappoose Industrial Airpark — maintenance (changing out old lights), or to support the ongoing resiliency study at the airport. He noted that the resiliency study report will serve as an avenue to get additional funds through a CORE grant.

Overall, Hayes said that Scappoose Industrial Airpark has weathered the coronavirus shutdown pretty well — at least so far.

"(It's) not too bad. We did see a slowdown in fuel out there because not as many people are flying," he added. "And we had one tenant that needed some assistance … and we're looking to adjust some of their payments."


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