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Getting lit: airport runway lighting project advanced

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Pilots flying into and leaving the Lacombe Regional Airport will have some new lighting along the runway to guide them in the near future as council approved the advancement of the capital project.(Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

Pilots flying into and leaving the Lacombe Regional Airport will have some new lighting along the runway to guide them in the near future as council approved the advancement of the capital project.(Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

RED DEER - 

The Lacombe Regional Airport will soon have some new lights lining its runway.

During their regular meeting on Monday, council voted unanimously to advance the installation of new solar-powered runway lights originally planned for 2022 to this year.

The advancement is being made possible thanks to the successful Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) grant application from the Government of Alberta.

The grant is worth a maximum of $175,436, or 75 per cent of project costs.

“The receipt of this grant facilitates the advancement of this project from 2022 to 2018 which reduces costs to local governments,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey. “This project also demonstrates the benefit and viability of partners sharing the efforts required to maintain regional services.”

The project, which consists of replacing the original and existing runway lights - kept operational since the Lacombe Regional Airport started operating in 1962 with remnant parts from similar systems - with solar-powered lights that promise to reduce operational costs with regards to electricity.

Originally budgeted at $208,028 in 2017, the projected costs for the project this year are expected to sit around $233,914. The City of Lacombe’s share, as per the Lacombe Regional Airport Agreement, will be 50 per cent of the project costs or up to a maximum of $40,000 to be taken from the general capital reserve.

The Lacombe Flying Club will pay 25 per cent of project costs and has already confirmed their ability to cover their share this year.

“Successful application for grant funds defrays cost burden to property tax revenues but also allows for the faster completion of necessary capital projects,” said Jon Fromm, Lacombe Flying Club president.

Lacombe County will also chip in 25 per cent, and approved the project advancement at their own council meeting on Monday morning.

“Lacombe County is committed to supporting the Lacombe Regional Airport and appreciate Alberta Transportation’s contribution to these upgrades,” said Reeve Paula Law. “The funding will allow for the proactive replacement of this equipment and will ensure the Lacombe Regional Airport stays viable for years to come.”

In a letter to Mayor Grant Creasey, Minister of Transportation Brian Mason said the project, in addition to investment in other infrastructure projects throughout the province “will help stimulate Alberta’s economic recovery and get Albertans back to work.”

The next step will see an RFP released for July 15 - Aug. 6. The award of contract is expected to come back to council for approval at their Aug. 13, 2018 meeting. 



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