St. Cloud airport to receive $495K in federal infrastructure funding
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the funding Monday that will be used for updating tower radio equipment and other projects at the regional airport
ST. CLOUD — Nearly a half-million dollars in federal funding will be used to replace outdated infrastructure, among other projects, at the St. Cloud Regional Airport. U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the funding Monday, April 10, during an event at the airport.
"It's not just one county — you all rely on this for your constituents and for commerce," Klobuchar said. "It (the funding) is going to make sure the radio tower equipment is up to date and able to support communication between all the people that have to coordinate to help planes take off and arrive safely."
"It's a good deal for taxpayers, communities, and military readiness for national security," she said.
Smith called St. Cloud "an important economic and cultural hub for the state. Your state not only benefits this community, but it also benefits the smaller communities around St. Cloud in this region."
The $495,000 in funding came from the Federal Aviation Administration through competitive bids. Smith told reporters that St. Cloud had the advantage of having a regional airport authority.
"You don't have competition back and forth between the counties here in the central part of the state," she said. "Everyone is working together, and the federal government notices that and cares about that."
Brian Myers, chairman of the St. Cloud Airport Authority Board, called it "a momentous day for the airport authority."
In addition to replacing the radio equipment at the tower, Myers said the airport will use the funds for other projects at the airport, including:
- Adding an additional hangar
- Replacing a 20-year-old airport rescue firetruck
- Conducting runway maintenance
The investment is made possible by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which both of Minnesota's Democratic U.S. senators supported, according to a news release from Smith's office.
IIJA is a $1.2 trillion law that was signed by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. The law reauthorizes existing funding and adds new funding for over 380 federal programs in broadband, energy, transportation, water and other infrastructure sectors.
At Monday's airport event, Smith said $2.7 billion of that money will go to other projects across Minnesota.
According to whitehouse.gov , the IIJA "will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just."
"Transportation is a big part of what drives our economy," said St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis. "Whether it is air or the river."