NEWSCLIP-2014-05-09: Rahall announces FAA grants for Mercer and Mason airports

Posted: May 09, 2014 1:54 PM PDT
By Greg Carter, Content Manager

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced nearly $600,000 in federal funding to enhance airfield infrastructure at Mercer County Airport in Bluefield and Mason County Airport in Point Pleasant.

“Investing in our airports and air transportation infrastructure, like in Mercer and Mason Counties, is one surefire way to grow our economy and create jobs. I will continue to use my seniority and experience in working hard to bring home Federal resources to expand our existing businesses and attract new job opportunities, so that future generations of West Virginians can live and work and stay close to home and their families.”

Mercer County Airport Authority has been awarded $500,000 for taxiway improvements at the general aviation airport in Bluefield. The grant will fund the construction phase of the realignment of Taxiway A to the end of Runway 23, which will assist the airport in meeting design standards.

Mason County will receive an $85,000 grant to fund a design project to rehabilitate the existing apron pavement that has reached the end of its useful life at the general aviation airport associated with Point Pleasant.

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The Politics of the Race impacted by these federal grants…
Nick Rahall is a Democrat and has served in the U.S. Congress since 1977. His seat is being challenged by Evan Jenkins, a former Democrat who changed to the Republican party in 2013 and then received substantial campaign support from the Koch brothers. Rahall is a relatively moderate Democrat, though he has defended mountain-top mining and challenged EPA (in support of the local coal industry). Jenkins’ campaign aims to associate Rahall with Obama. Rahall’s appeal will center on his seniority, including being ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee that oversees FAA.
Perhaps because they both represent a coal state, Rahall and Jenkins appear equally indifferent to the environment and mindless about Climate Change. However, it appears Rahall may work on real solutions while Jenkins will aggressively fight against solutions.