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Federal funding could come for hangar expansion

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The Roswell Air Center has received a preliminary commitment for a $2 million federal grant to expand one of its hangars to accommodate large planes.

City Manager Joe Neeb provided an update about the $8 million Hangar 84 expansion plans during a Thursday night meeting of the Roswell City Council.

“Our hangars, of course, are old, and they are actually too small for some of the larger planes that we are servicing out there,” he said.

Adding an extension onto the end of a hangar — what the industry calls a doghouse — would enable the current tenant, CAVU Aerospace, and possibly future tenants, to modern commercial planes completely inside the hangar. That is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration for some types of maintenance work.

Neeb said the expansion project has been broken down into various stages, including the hangar expansion and a taxiway improvement project. He also said the city has been searching for various sources for the remaining amount needed. About $1.5 million in additional funding could come from private business and state grants, Neeb said.

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The $2 million federal grant would come from the U.S. Economic Development Agency Recovery Assistance Program. That was created with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Recovery Assistance Program is being run by the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program.

Neeb said the city originally applied for $5 million, then amended the request to $3 million and will revise the application again for $2 million as it works through the “highly competitive” funding process.

“EDA gave us a letter the last couple of weeks, saying, ‘We like what you are thinking. We are willing to commit to $2 million,” he said.

The CARES Recovery Assistance funding has $1.5 billion to provide communities to prevent, protect and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The EDA is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.