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AIP road funding approved

A contingency from Demopolis and Marengo County presented the case for more funding for the Airport Industrial Park access road to the Alabama Industrial Road and Bridge Corporation (AIRBC) and was granted the full $550,000 it requested.

The AIRBC — made up of Alabama Dept. of Transportation director Joe McInnes, state treasurer Kay Ivey and acting state finance director Bill Newton — had approved the full $1.53 million that the contingency requested in October 2008. This latest coup from Marengo County brings the total grant funding for the access road up to $2.08 million.

“We’re having to do a change of paths, and we’re getting another $550,000 to help fund this change,” said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson. “It’s a done deal; it’s available now. We just have to get the project bid and do the work on it.”

Accompanying Grayson on the trip to Montgomery were Demopolis city attorney Richard S. Manley, Demopolis industrial development board chair Mike Marshall, Marengo County Economic Development Agency executive director Debra M. Fox, State Representative A.J. McCampbell and Jeremy Jones of Almon and Associates engineering firm.

The AIRBC issues $11 million annually in grant awards to similar projects across the state. This is the second time in 20 months that the contingency from this area has gotten all of the funding it has requested for the AIP access road.

“The additional funds were necessary for the relocation of a portion of the Airport Industrial Park road in order to accommodate a planned FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) upgrade of the certification of our existing airport,” said Fox. “The team is excited, as this will allow them to continue to serve existing industry partners as well as accommodate future growth in the park.”

Fox added that the improved road to the Airport Industrial Park would exponentially improve its marketability, as the park has multimodal access through national highways, railways and the 5,000-foot runway at the adjacent Demopolis Municipal Airport.