Lumberton Lost Money.....AGAIN!

By now, one would think Lumberton's current mayor and board would get tired of losing. In case you missed the story, the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding more than $10 million in grants that will be divided among 35 Mississippi airports. The announcement comes from Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He said the grants will pay for project to make airports safer and more efficient, such as runway rehabilitation, new lights and new signs. The single largest grant is $860,802 for Golden Triangle Regional Airport while the smallest grant is going to the Prentiss-Jefferson Davis County Airport, City of Prentiss, Mississippi – $74,500 for airport apron rehabilitation and airport master plan updates. A news release from Cochran said money is coming from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes and similar revenue sources and that's how Lumberton lost out on this free money; their airport is not generating revenue. Well, not for the City of Lumberton.

I'm sure the Gold Coast Skydivers are thriving since they're paying $350/month for control of an entire airport but that revenue is not getting reported. At the last meeting with LeAnn Igo, a board member asked to see the financial records of the skydiving group, a requirement of the lease agreement, but I'm not sure if it was ever received. Just a few months ago, the board was struggling, trying to find money to pay for a $15,000 (an estimation) beacon for the airport. Sadly, they're not charging enough in rent to cover the city's portion of matching grants. More money lost. The non-matching grants that were recently awarded cover 75 percent of costs for large and medium primary hub airports, and 90 to 95 percent of costs for small primary, reliever and general aviation airports. I'm sure Lumberton could have used that grant money but they continue to make poor business decisions. Thankfully, they only have 2 more years in office.

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