PLYMOUTH – A federal grant will fund a major infrastructure upgrade at Plymouth Municipal Airport.
The $2.25 million grant awarded under the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) will help upgrade the airport’s wastewater treatment system and bring it up to environmental standards.
Increased capacity could also allow residences and businesses around the airport to connect to the system as well.
Plymouth County officials presented the check for $2,250,000 to city and airport officials on Wednesday afternoon. The check represents the largest ARPA grant distributed by the Plymouth County Commission, which was responsible for distributing recovery funds throughout the county.
The airport is expected to put the project up for auction next month. The work should be completed in early 2023, or even sooner. New sewer connections could follow in a few years.
City Manager Derek Brindisi and Board Member Charles Bletzer accepted the check on behalf of the city.
Brindisi thanked the city’s director of finance, Lynne Barrett, director of public works, Jonathan Beder, and airport manager, Tom Maher, for recognizing the opportunity to fund the project and for preparing the successful application for the grant.
Plymouth County Treasurer Tom O’Brien said the request was one of the first submitted to the county for ARPA money and comes just in time for Maher to see the check. The airport manager planned to retire the day after the check was presented. (See separate story.)
Maher called the project essential for the long-term health of the airport and the growth of compatible businesses setting up there.
“A sewage treatment plant is not the most exciting thing on the planet, but it is really important from an environmental point of view that we maintain our license,” he said, noting that the existing system was built two decades ago and needs upgrades due to changes in environmental regulations.
The project would install a backup power supply that would take over in the event of a failure. The system currently goes to sleep in the event of a power failure.
The project would also upgrade two pumping stations and make general improvements to the electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems. The system would remain located in a remote corner of the airport property.
“We also hope this will allow us to link some of the local businesses and homes along South Meadow Road and would be part of the city’s overall goal of connecting the city to a sewer system rather than a sewer system. of title 5 (septic),,” said Maher.
State Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) credited the airport administration with foresight, commitment, hard work and vision. “It doesn’t happen without a tremendous amount of planning and understanding what the future is like and being able to use resources in the best possible way,” she said.