The Putnam County Airport is due for runway improvements, but increased funding from community members is needed to make the project possible.
As planes fly into Putnam County airport, pilots can see parts of the runway that have been patched. In the nearly two decades since the runway was last paved, only small adjustments have been made to fix it.
To make the bigger changes which are now required, airport officials must obtain federal and state funding. The trouble is there are fewer federal dollars available. So the airport has begun a community fundraising campaign aimed at raising a final $27,000 officials haven’t been able to save.
So far, Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Executive Director Bill Dory says only about 50 percent of the money has been raised.
“For our community campaign, we’ve raised $13,560 dollars, so a little more than half to reach the $27,000 goal. But in addition to that, that’s just a small part of the campaign,” he says. “The airport board needs to come up with about $311,000 dollars to be able to match the federal and state funds that will help finance the project.”
To get the cash, Board of Aviation Commissioners member Duane Skoog had an idea – let people pay for a few feet of runway at a time and get their name on a plaque with an honorary title next to it.
“Based on the monetary amount, and the foot of sponsorship, it goes all the way from ‘Senior Chief Pilot Concord’ to ‘Air Cadet’. An ‘Air Cadet’ you can assume gives us $5, then you can go up to one of the middle ranges is ‘Captain of a Lockheed.’”
The Putnam County Airport’s runway sees 50 to 100 takeoffs and landings per week. Officials have set an informal May first deadline to raise the remaining cash to fix it.