Franklin Countys First News

More than half a million awarded to Rangeley Municipal Airport

RANGELEY - U.S. Senators Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King announced yesterday the awarding of $531,999 to the town of Rangeley to fund the renovation and expansion of the Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport apron.

The money is being distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the Federal Aviation Administration.

Town officials have hired DuBois & King to begin the preliminary stages of planning, which will identify options available as well as an estimated timeline, with the hopes of being completed by November. Informational meetings will be held for the public on an ongoing basis, beginning on July 25 at 6 p.m. at the airport.

The airport was constructed in 1934, with the work of twenty men from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

“Maine’s regional airports encourage economic growth, connecting our state’s communities to vital resources and industries,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This funding will help support the airport’s productivity, enhance its capacity, and drive economic growth throughout the Rangeley area.”

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18 Responses »

  1. What a slap in the face to struggling taxpayers. Our roads are crumbling all over western Maine but our senators feel it is much more important to make the rich headed to vacation homes in their private aircraft as comfortable as possible.

  2. “This funding will help support the airport’s productivity, enhance its capacity, and drive economic growth throughout the Rangeley area.” No...fixing/maintaining our roads will do that. this isn't Juneau...

  3. I would love to see the economic growth plan as it relates to this .... bush planes aren't a real need here. The vast majority of Western Maines economy is from local, repeat customers. So sad.

  4. What a slap in the face to Juneau ... (just being a wise guy). I just marvel at the "full steam ahead" let's keep spending our great-grandchildren's futures on these "necessary" things. The last 40-50 years of "growth" for this country has been built on the financial backs of anyone alive in the coming hundred years. Totally irresponsible. I'm no historian but I do read, this is a typical way that countries devolve and die. Most have the sense that it could never happen to the mighty USA. We are not at all different from the many empires of the past which are now just footnotes in the history books. -- Government now consumes 40% of our GDP.

  5. With all due respect to the previous two opinions, something must be taken into consideration with this development.

    My experience of having lived and/or worked in several states has shown that when a municipal airport such as the one in Rangeley is expanded and/or upgraded, it ALWAYS results in any number of PAID part-time and/or full-time positions for LOCAL employees.

    Another thing that follows shortly thereafter is improvement of local roads, starting with the one(s) leading to and from said airport.

    Make no mistake, "Captain Planet" and "hold the phone..." both have VALID concerns, but rather than panic unnecessarily, we ought instead to take life one step at a time. The benefits should be seen by all soon enough.

  6. Lets see, transportation upgrade for a local municipal airport, recent sale of local ski area with the promise to invest to grow its value to the community, and state.....Two investments in the same remote community, one for transportation and one for recreation. Wait, no, could it be? These two investments in the future of the same rural area could lead to a bit of an economic resurgence!

    Congratulations on investments being made to update and grow!

  7. Farmington has talked about an airport for many, many years, but nothing happening. How about the same rational as "hold the phone" s idea? It would make more sense to spend the money for an airport in Farmington, which serves many surrounding communities and needs jobs here too.

  8. "but rather than panic unnecessarily..."

    not from around here, are you?

  9. I don't want a airport in Farmington. Who wants to live in any flight path of any airport ?

  10. Captain Planet and Others,

    I hope to shed some light on how these projects are funded and help put your concerns at ease as far as the financial impact on you, as a tax payer. Although it is appropriated from the federal government, the money does not come from the general fund. There is a dedicated Airport and Airway Trust Fund that is funded by aviation excise and aviation fuel taxes, so in short, the users of this airport (and many others like it) fund these types of improvements. This isn't a project that takes away from road improvements or other federal programs, which come from your income and other taxes.

    Hopefully this helps show that this is a positive thing from the community, with no additional burden put on the local tax payers. In the short term is will help the local economy with construction jobs, then again in the long term as more people utilize the airport and bring more revenue to local businesses.

    With so many people in the area struggling to make ends meet I understand the initial reaction to taxes being use on something that does appear to have a direct impact on many individuals, but this really is a win-win for the community. Money that wouldn't otherwise come into the area is being invested into the local economy and that can only be a good thing. Just some food for thought...

  11. Geez, I wonder what the percentage of skiers drive to saddleback vs those that fly? How about commodities? Gonna fly in all the lumber for these vacation homes are we? Of course when we start flying spring water out of Rangeley that will save wear on roads......

  12. Cool! My grandfather was a part of the Civilian Conservation Corps before WWII when he joined the Navy. Seems like the money will be a big deal for this little airport. These little airports are great for small communities and sport pilots out there. I hope they start an annual fly-in and air show!

  13. Guys...This is nothing new! The Federal Goverment has been giving small airports money for many many years. And some of them lots more than half a million. They get new runways..taxiways..aprons..and some get lighting systems that are sophisticated. Like for people who are making instruments approach. They figure it helps the local economy..

  14. @Samo The 2nd Annual Rangeley Fly-In and Airshow is scheduled for THIS Saturday, July 22nd with the gates opening at 10:00 a.m.!!! Hope to see you all there and you can view this wonderful airport for yourselves!

  15. Excellent! Thanks, Tricia.

  16. Why anyone would be against the expansion of an airport in 2017, in an area with such little economic activity is beyond me. You will be disturbed by the noise...? Let's be serious here... Saddleback is running again, the expansion of the airport is long overdue. Building new roads is a short term economic impact while the airport is long term growth in the community.

  17. Al, unfortunately there are people who are against anything that is done by certain people. The airport is not their issue...