GREENSBURG — Current and former local elected officials, Greensburg Board of Aviation Commissioners representatives, contractors, engineers and others gathered at Greensburg Municipal Airport Wednesday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony.

Greensburg Mayor Josh Marsh welcomed those on hand and noted the airport improvement effort has been 20 years in the making.

“This is a substantial investment with minimal local financial impact, but tremendous economic impact for our community and region as we move forward,” Marsh said.

The airport expansion is an estimated $10 million project, which the Aviation Board has said will be funded through an FAA grant. The grant is what’s known as a reimbursement grant, which means the city will put up the initial funding for the project and 95 percent of the cost will be returned.

While the estimated cost of the airport expansion is around $10 million, the local share of that outside of grant funds is 5 percent, or roughly $500,000. Those monies will come from the city’s EDIT funds.

Others who spoke included U.S. Rep. Greg Pence, Aviation Board President Bill Ernstes, and former Greensburg mayors Gary Bailey, Frank Manus and Dan Manus.

Butler Fairman Seufert Executive Vice President Paul Shaffer also spoke, noting the project’s significance now and in the future.

“If you build a mile of road you’ll go one mile. If you build a mile of runway you can go anywhere,” he said. “This runway project is literally a gateway to anywhere, to the world, for Greensburg, so congratulations, Greensburg, on starting your new gateway to the world.”

Advocates of the runway expansion have said on numerous occasions the project will be beneficial to Decatur County from an economic development standpoint.

An estimated 147.17 acres of land will be affected by the runway replacement and realignment effort. An additional 33.06 acres of land will have only overhead airspace affected, meaning nothing tall could be constructed that might block the runway.

The airport is located at 915 S. CR 200 W., Greensburg.

Kevin Green: news@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-663-3111 x 217056.

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