Municipal airport receives funding

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 11, 2005

The City of Demopolis continued to receive favorable information this week as news of another positive addition to the city was released.

The good news came when U.S. Rep. Artur Davis announced that the City of Demopolis has been awarded $150,000 by the Department of Transportation. The funding will allow the Demopolis Municipal airport to construct additional storage hangars to house additional planes in order to meet the present and future demands of the airport.

Davis said the grant was instrumental in getting Demopolis where it hopes to be in regards to jobs and industry.

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“This funding is vitally important towards supposing the growth and development of Demopolis into one of the premier cities in Alabama,” Davis said. “I applaud Demopolis for their continuing strides to attract newcomers and businesses to the area, which benefit not only Marengo County, but all of the Black Belt.”

The news is especially big because of the possibilities airport expansion brings. Often when cities are seeking to attract new businesses they consult with professionals and the businesses themselves to discuss any changes that need to be made. Once the changes are in place there is normally an open door for economic expansion. Often the first area businesses look at is the airport.

Special Projects Coordinator Jeremy Sherer said for this reason the acquisition of the grant would make a huge difference. Sherer said one of the biggest advantages to airport expansion is a direct connection to industry. Sherer said presently companies might be forced to land hours away from Demopolis. Soon they can fly right into the River City.

“It definitely enhances a cities ability to recruit and bring in industry,” Sherer said. “It gives them a lot of potential to bring in some outside companies directly into the city. Instead of flying into Mobile and having to travel up they can fly directly into Demopolis.”

Sherer said in many ways airport expansion is like building a bridge. It can allow Demopolis a direct line to many places in which the Black Belt previously had no connection at all.

“This is big news in that an expanded airport can connect Demopolis, Marengo County and the entire Black Belt to the rest of the Southeast,” Sherer said. “This will really give Demopolis a chance to reach out. It is definitely going to be a positive.”

The announcement marked the second day in a row Demopolis has received good news in regard to expansion. Wednesday it was announced that bids would soon open for the four-laning of Highway 80 from Demopolis to Highway 28.