|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Tuesday, December 16, 1997
TRAFICANT REQUESTS STATE MATCHING FUNDS FOR AIR CARGO PROJECT AT YOUNGSTOWN-WARREN REGIONAL
Youngstown, Ohio -- U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D--OH) wants the State of Ohio to provide $2 million in matching funds for the second phase of the development of an air cargo distribution center at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. In a letter sent to Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich (R) earlier this month, Traficant and Western Reserve Port Authority Chairman John Moliterno urged the governor to approve a $2 million state matching grant to leverage a pending grant from the Federal Aviation Administration estimated to be $20 million. The Port Authority operates the airport.
Earlier this year the airport, which is located in Vienna, applied to the FAA for an airport improvement program grant for phase two of the project. The grant will be used for a number of capital improvement projects, including pavement design, land acquisition, runway and taxiway strengthening, airfield lighting upgrades, road relocation, and airpark expansion. Under the airport improvement program, the federal government provides up to 90 percent of the cost of a project. Local or state sponsors must provide a ten percent matching grant.
In their letter to Governor Voinovich, Traficant and Moliterno noted that the "Port Authority does not have the $2 million needed to leverage the forthcoming $20 million discretionary federal grant. Unless we are able to provide this match at the time of the grant offer, which is expected to be made within the next few months, we risk losing this opportunity to receive an additional $20 million." Traficant said today that he and Moliterno are prepared to go to Columbus at any time to meet with the governor and his staff to discuss the project. Traficant wrote to the FAA earlier this month urging approval of the grant.
Traficant has worked over the past year to secure a total of $13.2 million FAA grants for planning, design and actual runway extension work at the airport. That work is nearing completion. The proposed air cargo distribution center will include extended runways, state-of-the-art cargo complex, road and rail access, and a foreign free-trade zone. For the past four years Traficant has been working with local, state, FAA and top White House officials to secure funding for the air cargo initiative and develop a long-term financing strategy. Those meetings, including a meeting with President Clinton last July 4th in Youngstown, were crucial in securing a commitment from the Clinton Administration to provide long-term federal funding for the project.
Last year, Traficant attached an amendment to legislation reauthorizing FAA programs to make it easier for smaller airports, such as Youngstown-Warren Regional, to get federal air cargo grants. That bill is now law.2009