Oxford County airport receives grant to upgrade terminal

Mar. 9—PARIS — Oxford County Regional Airport in Oxford has been awarded nearly $245,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration for terminal improvements.

The award was announced by airport Director Tony Carter and county Administrator Donald Durrah at Thursday morning's county commissioners' workshop.

The airport, off Number Six Road, was the only small airport in New England to receive one of the Airport Terminal Program grants, Carter said.

The county applied for it last year but was unsuccessful. Carter resubmitted the application with a couple of modifications and it was approved and the grant made. The money will fund improvements to the heating system, LED lights, fire and alarm systems, windows, doors and ADA-approved bathrooms, among other upgrades.

The grant requires the Maine Department of Transportation and the county to contribute 2 1/2 % toward the project.

The county will be reimbursed for a few of the projects that were covered in the capital budget.

In other business concerning the airport, Carter said he has applied for another grant to upgrade the apron, including much of the pavement on the runways and taxiways. The cost is estimated in excess of $2 million.

A decision on the application is expected by the end of September. Work on the project would not begin until spring 2024.

Commissioners approved a bid of $6,9317.40 from Concrete Systems to build culverts for the Patte Brook Road in Albany Township. Requests for bids to repair the road went out a month ago and are due next week.

Commissioners appropriated an additional $22,670 as part of a change order with Allied Engineering to move the Oxford County Sheriff's Office out of the jail building and into the former district court at the county government complex on Western Avenue. The Sheriff's Office must move to allow Allied to complete the HVAC upgrades at the jail.

With the four vehicles ordered several months ago for the Sheriff's Office still awaiting delivery, commissioners agreed to carry over the money set aside for them to next year's budget. The amount, Durrah said, is between $154,000 and $174,000.

Commissioners set the tax commitment for municipalities in Oxford County. With the state valuation for the county having risen by a little more than $1 million this year, the county portion of the tax rate has dropped by 7.4%, from 96 cents to 89 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.