Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty recently joined St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly to announce his support for flood mitigation improvements at St. Paul Downtown Airport/Holman Field.
Gov. Pawlenty included a $2 million recommendation in his bonding proposal for flood protection efforts at Holman Field. Mayor Kelly announced that 3M will donate $1 million to the project on behalf of the City of St. Paul.
“Holman Field is a valuable asset and an important economic engine for the East metro area,” the Governor said. “It also houses Minnesota State Patrol helicopters and the Minnesota Army National Guard’s fleet of helicopters. When Holman Field closes due to flooding the consequences are felt across the state. Our bonding package strategically highlights projects that will grow Minnesota’s economy and enhance our quality of life. This project fits well within those criteria.”
The Governor’s $2 million bonding proposal will reportedly play a significant role in helping to secure matching federal funds for the project, a major requirement of which includes demonstration that there is meaningful state and community support for the project. The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has already invested several million dollars in initial dike planning and design work. MAC is continuing this work and will look for maximum available federal funding sources for the project.
Holman Field helps generate more than 1,000 jobs and pumps $88 million into the regional economy. As the only intermediate-sized airport in the region with the runway capacity to accommodate large business jets, Holman Field serves as the primary back-up facility to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport. In 2004, the St. Paul Downtown airport was a base for 124 general aviation and 35 military aircraft
Because of its proximity to the Mississippi River, Holman Field has a long history of flooding problems. The airport has had to close three times in the last 10 years, resulting in millions of dollars in damages to the airport and lost revenues for its tenants.
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