Newton airport gets federal grant
By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 16, 2001
NEWTON James Easom Field has been awarded a $41,660 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for airport improvements.
The announcement was made Tuesday by U.S. Rep Chip Pickering, R-Miss., and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. The funding is part of the FAA's Airport Improvement Program.
Tim Muse, Newton's city engineer, said the grant is the first of $350,000 in funds city leaders hope to get from the FAA in the next two years.
Planned improvements include rehabilitating the existing runway, parking area improvements and clearing obstructions such as trees out of flight approach easements and side slopes.
Pickering said improving Mississippi's airports helps bring visitors and businesses into the state.
Newton Mayor Hamp Beatty and city aldermen had hoped to have enough money to extend the airport's 3,000-foot runway by 500 feet to 700 feet, but the airport was not granted enough money. Beatty said last year a runway extension would help recruit industry because it would allow larger airplanes to land.
Muse said contracted workers will begin clearing trees by fall. The other projects will fall in succession beginning in mid-2002.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at email@example.com.