Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed a bill authorizing Dukes County commissioners to raise and issue bonds for $1.3 million for projects at Martha’s Vineyard Airport, according to a press release.
The money is reimbursement for projects already completed at the airport. Those projects include the design of an aircraft rescue firefighting building, acquisition of snow removal equipment, and upgrades for runway 6-24.
On Friday, Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, presented the signed legislation to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission.
Airport commission chair Bob Rosenbaum said anytime the airport wants to do any borrowing, it must go to the legislature to get approval.
Rosenbaum said Ferndandes was helpful in shepherding the bill through the legislature, and said he anticipates special legislation in the future giving the county permission to issue and raise their own bonds without needing permission from the state.
The airport commission has already received federal and state grants for each of these projects. The increased authorization would cover the community’s share in the cost of the capital projects, and would allow the commission to spread those costs out over time. The airport is the only county airport that is required to seek legislative approval to issue or increase a bond authorization.