BONHAM, TX-Bonham's municipal airport is one step away from building a dozen new hangars, which could help bring in thousands of dollars in revenue.
The Bonham City Council agreed to match 10% of TxDOT's $1.6 million aviation grant, which will secure the grant for the city's hangar project. City officials who tell us how the project will affect Bonham's economy as well as residents' taxes.
Steven Hale has been flying out of Jones Field Municipal Airport for over 40 years and he said , as the number of people using the airport increased, so did the need for more hangars.
"We've had a demand for hangars ever since I can remember and it's growing even bigger now and we have so many people from the metroplex and other people moving here looking for a place to keep their airplane," he said.
"We have been overbooked and have a lot of people on the waiting list for hangars."
Bonham Director of Public Works, Ronny Ford, oversees the airport and said because of the high demand, they applied for a $1.6 million aviation grant from TxDOT ten months ago to help fund the hangar project.
"This is our first opportunity to get a hangar project, so we're really excited to have a waiting list of several people wanting hangars," he said.
Monday night, Bonham city council approved the city's required 10% matching funds to secure the grant and city manager, Bill Shipp, said building more hangars will bring in thousands of dollars in revenue now and much more in the future.
"If you make improvements in the airport, it just brings more people to Bonham and it exposes Bonham to more people and exposure's a good thing because we have a good product up here," he said.
Shipp said with the grant, revenue and money from the city's general fund, the project will not affect taxes.
"We can borrow money and it won't impact your tax rate because of the additional revenue it will bring in, that's a good thing," he said.
Ford says $1.6 million is enough to build up to 15 hangars depending on the bids.
"It's very exciting to be able to have this hangar grant," he said.
"Bless our city for the efforts they're putting in, they're doing a good job," said Hale.
Shipp said the grant will go before the Texas Transportation Commission for final approval late January. Once the money becomes available, the city will able to build the hangars starting next fall.