County in line to land federal funding for airport taxiway, power supply upgrades

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County Council on June 30 cast approval to a half million dollar airport project upgrade that is expected to be fully covered by federal funding.

The two-pronged project includes taxiway lighting/electrical vault improvements and expansion of Delmarva Power & Light supply lines into the airfield at the Delaware Coastal Airport (Sussex County Airport).

Airport logo formatted

The total cost – $530,684.50 – is in the pipeline for Federal Aviation Administration grant funding.

“We have met extensively with the FAA through the winter. They have approved the concept of the project. They have programmed the money,” said Sussex County Engineer Michael Izzo.

The grant application was to be submitted following County Council’s approval to meet the July 2 deadline.

“Again, they have money programmed. We should receive our grant award, we expect by early August,” Mr. Izzo said.

Under an agreement, Delmarva Power will extend supply lines to future vault locations and provide dual power feeds to the airport and industrial park.

Runway extension necessitates expansion of the power supply lines, said Steve Hudson, the County’s Technical Engineering Director.

“Since we have added our runway extension … our runs have now become too long,” Mr. Hudson said. “We need basically new primary services to power this equipment. Also with the planned expansions, this will give us plenty of room for growth. We’ll be pushing toward the future.”

Tudor Electric of Dover, with a bid of $262,380.50, was the lowest of four bidders for the lighting/vault project, which includes removal of 52 existing taxiway light fixtures and approximately 6,500 of buried cable some 40 years old and installation of 50 new LED taxiway lighting fixtures and 8,500 of conduit, cable and counterpoise system.

The estimated cost for power supply expansion is $268,304.

Name Game

County Administrator Todd Lawson reported at the June 30 meeting that the County was contacted by the FAA regarding the change of the airport from Sussex County Airport to Delaware Coastal Airport, approved by County Council June 16.

“The local Harrisburg FFA office will start the process of changing all of their documentation to reflect the change that you all approved,” said Mr. Lawson. “They do not officially endorse or approve changes of airport names … so that is as close to approval from the FAA that we will get.”

Council’s vote was 4-1 to approve the name change.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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