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Airport getting money for storm-related repairs

By By LYDIA GRIMES Features writer
Brewton Municipal Airport is among the 71 hurricane-damaged airports receiving funds for repairs.
Brewton Municipal Airport will be funded $17,500 after insurance to help repair damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. Alan Robinson, Fixed Base Operator (FBO), reports there was damage in several areas of the airport. Parts of the roof of one of the hangars was ripped off by the winds, leaving a hole that Robinson has temporarily covered.
"We have had people come to give us estimates for repair," he said. "So far nothing has been done. I don't know if the problem is the lack of workers to do the work or the cost of the estimates."
In addition to the hangar, there was damage to runway lights, leaks in various buildings and debris all over the place. The debris was cleared from the runway first in order that they could be utilized. Perhaps one of the most visible reminders of the storm is the beacon light tower.
"The Leaning Tower of Pisa has nothing on the City of Brewton," said Paul Merritt, a local pilot and friend of Robinson's.
Robinson was cleaning one day after the storm when he noticed that two of the legs of the tower had been pulled almost 12 inches out of the ground.
"It's not too noticeable at first," he said, "but when you stand away from it and look back, you can see a definite lean to it."
According to Robinson, the airport lounge leaks when it rains and the airplane on display makes a lot of noise when the wind blows. Insurance should take care of most of the problems and the funds coming from the FFA will be used to repair runway lights which are not covered by insurance.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta recently announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would fund repairs at 12 additional airports damaged by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. These airports will receive a portion of the remaining $4.5 million from emergency legislation that provided a total of $25 million to help pay for hurricane damage to airports. The remaining $4.5 million will be distributed to airports in Alabama, Florida and Puerto Rico.