Local government

Vale gets $13,000 grant from border board for airport project

VALE – As city crews worked to install Christmas lights on light poles on A Street, Vale City Manager Todd Fuller’s gaze was partly focused on the city airport where a recent infusion of dollars from the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Board will kickstart an effort to develop the airfield.
Fuller said he learned recently that the city’s request to the border board for $13,000 was approved. Now he will plan a land survey and topographical work at the airport.
That work is crucial to lay the groundwork for the installation of hangars, he said.
“It gives us a starting point for people who want to build hangars. There are at least six people who’d like to build hangars in Vale but we can’t currently give them a starting point. We are aiming to get to that point,” said Fuller.
There is now one hangar at the airport build right after World War II, said Fuller.
The city, he said, would lease the ground to those who want to build a hangar.
The survey work is just the latest example of the city utilizing grants to fund airport improvements.
In February, the city learned it would receive a $100,000 state grant to complete asphalt work on the taxiway off the airfield’s 4,000-foot runway. That taxiway work is planned for next summer.
“It’s safety for the planes so when they tax down through there, they are not kicking up rocks or hitting someone or damaging a plane,” said Fuller.
Tom Vialpando, Vale mayor, said finalizing improvements to the airport is a good economic development move.
“We will have the ability to have people build hangars now and that will support the tax base,” said Vialpando.
News tip? Contact Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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