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Vidalia Airport Has $7M Funding Opportunity

The Vidalia City Council has given the go ahead for the Vidalia Regional Airport to take advantage of a $7 million funding opportunity through federal, state, and local funds.

The airport could receive $180,000 in federal funding and $5,110,000 in state funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) tentative allocations. A local share is required for the projects, which amounts to $1,710,000, or 25% of the total work. This local share will be funded through the city’s American Rescue Plan Act continued from page

(ARPA) funding, Airport Fund Balance, and/or Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Contracted airport engineer Passero Associates will outline the project specifics and costs. This document will be sent to the GDOT project manager for approval before work begins.

Five projects are expected to be completed with this funding: an airport layout plan update, ramp expansion, runway rehabilitation (second continued from page

phase), hangar development, and the relocation of a fuel farm. The runway rehabilitation project will be completed in 2025, according to Airport Manager Billy Ragan.

“We normally receive state and/or federal funds each year based on our Capital Improvement Plan, but to receive this much money at one time is very rare,” Ragan explained. “The state of Georgia put an extra $18 million or so in the state budget for airports this year, and we were lucky enough to receive this funding.”

Ragan said that during his yearly Capital Improvement planning he informed Senator Blake Tillery, R-19 Vidalia, of the changes and projects he hoped the airport would complete within the near future.

He shared, “These additional funds would not be possible without the help of Senator Tillery. As a pilot himself, he understands what airports like ours need, and we are very grateful.”

Vidalia Mayor Doug Roper also commented on the opportunity. “That’s a blessing to have those kind of funds allocated our way, and to be able to provide the 25% match needed,” he remarked. “That is $7 million that will be invested in a regional asset that we have – that is tremendous for the city of Vidalia.”

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