Vermont Wins Another $6.2 Million in Economic Recovery Funds

BERLIN, Vt., April 17 -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced a $6.2 million federal grant for the Edward F. Knapp State Airport. The project, funded by a federal economic stimulus program, is estimated to create 54 jobs.

"This grant is another example of how the economic stimulus package is rebuilding our infrastructure and moving America in a dramatic new direction by creating millions of good-paying jobs," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "The long-term economic viability of central Vermont will be strengthened by this project."

Sanders, a member of the Senate public works committee, invited LaHood to Vermont for a first-hand look at the state's transportation needs.

In addition to Sanders, Secretary LaHood was joined at the press conference by Gov. Jim Douglas and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie.

The airport grant was made available by the recently-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"This money will put people to work in Vermont while providing an important investment in airport safety. That means boosting the economy in the short term through job creation and sustaining economic recovery in the long-term by making airports more efficient and secure," said LaHood.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate and reconfigure a runway to allow the construction of a full parallel taxiway to the airport's primary runway. The terminal apron also will be modified to serve the newly rehabilitated runway.

About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive stimulus funds. The Federal Aviation Administration is working with airport sponsors to identify eligible projects that have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements.

Under the stimulus program authorized by Congress earlier this year, $1.1 billion was authorized for qualified airports to be allocated by the FAA on a discretionary basis.