Wicomico Airport Awarded $1M Grants

SALISBURY – More than $1 million in federal grants is expected to help fund operations at the Salisbury airport.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to accept two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act.

Officials say $1,023,818 in grant funding will be used for costs relating to operations, personnel, cleaning and sanitation, janitorial services and debt service payments at the airport, while $15,016 in additional grant funding will be used to provide parking, car rental and concession operators with some relief from rent and minimum annual guarantees paid to the county.

Councilman John Cannon noted the county modified its concession agreements last year with four airport companies seeking financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. He questioned if the $15,016 would be used to offset that revenue loss.

“Would this go to offset the benefits we gave them a few months ago?” he said. “I think we forgave some costs.”

Airport Manager Tony Rudy noted the county could recoup some of that money with the grant award. He said officials were seeking clarification on eligibility.

“It was the minimum annual guarantee that we relieved both the rental car agencies and the parking concession,” he said. “From my understanding, this only goes back until Dec. 27 of 2020. So carrying forward from there, we could probably recover some of those monies.”

With no further discussion, the council voted unanimously to accept both grant awards totaling more than $1 million.

“Every little bit helps,” Rudy said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.