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Noon News 2.19.20: Winter Weather, Heating Program and Airport Updates


There’s a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of Siouxland including Woodbury County until 6 tonight.  The National Weather Service says areas under the advisory could get up to six inches of snow.  Sioux City could see another three inches this afternoon.

Wintry weather forced several school districts in Siouxland to either start late or cancel classes all together today. 

And, even though Spring doesn’t officially start for another month, an energy assistance program is available for low-income people in Iowa.

Jean Logan is the Executive Director of the Community Action Agency of Siouxland.

“I think sometimes people don’t want their neighbors or even their own family members to know they are really struggling.”

The  Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is available through the end of April.  People get a one-time payment to help with heating costs. 

“Whether that be propane, firewood, or natural gas or electric.”

People can qualify based on their yearly gross income or their wages for the past 30 days.  

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded almost $16 million dollars in grants to 25 airports in Iowa including some in the Siouxland.  The biggest amount of $900,000 goes to the Sioux Gateway Field in Sioux City for taxiway reconstruction.  Several smaller airports in the region also received money from the federal government including Storm Lake, Mapleton, Denison and the Sioux County Regional Airport in Maurice.  That facility gets the smallest grant in the area of $270,000 for snow removal equipment.

News Release from the Federal Aviation Administration:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $15.74 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants to 25 airports in Iowa. This investment in Iowa’s airports is part of a $520.5 million national investment in America’s airports that was announced today by Secretary Chao.

“This $520.5 million in federal support to airports across the country will help to keep our nation’s airports in good shape and make air travel a better experience for passengers,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

With this announcement, the Trump Administration has invested a historic $11.42 billion in more than two thousand American airports across the United States for safety and infrastructure improvements since January 2017.

The grants to airports in Iowa include the following awards:

  • $313,350 to Ames Municipal Airport for airport lighting vault construction.
  • $909,000 to Atlantic Municipal Airport for runway rehabilitation.
  • $278,000 to Arthur N. Neu Airport in Carroll for runway, taxiway and apron pavement sealing.
  • $225,000 to Schenck Field in Clarinda to acquire snow removal equipment.
  • $158,808 to Clarion Municipal Airport for runway lighting reconstruction.
  • $286,200 to Decorah Municipal Airport for access road improvements.
  • $600,000 to Denison Municipal Airport for runway construction.
  • $1.87 million to Des Moines International Airport for runway reconstruction and service road construction.
  • $1.41 million to Dubuque Regional Airport for runway lighting construction.
  • $568,113 to Estherville Municipal Airport for taxiway construction.
  • $616,500 to Fort Dodge Regional Airport for runway pavement sealing.
  • $300,000 to Fort Madison Municipal Airport for runway lighting reconstruction.
  • $383,976 to Harlan Municipal Airport for apron reconstruction and apron pavement sealing.
  • $155,655 to Independence Municipal Airport for taxiway and apron pavement sealing.
  • $478,748 to Iowa City Municipal Airport for runway rehabilitation and for obstruction removal.
  • $369,000 to James G. Whiting Memorial Field in Mapleton for runway lighting reconstruction and to install visual guidance systems.
  • $149,310 to Maquoketa Municipal Airport to remove obstructions.
  • $549,548 to Marshalltown Municipal Airport for building construction.
  • $360,000 to Mason City Municipal Airport for taxiway lighting reconstruction.
  • $270,000 to Sioux County Regional Airport in Maurice to acquire snow removal equipment.
  • $1.2 million to Pella Municipal Airport for runway reconstruction.
  • $108,000 to Red Oak Municipal Airport for taxiway and apron pavement sealing.
  • $900,000 to Sioux Gateway Field in Sioux City for taxiway reconstruction.
  • $510,570 to Storm Lake Municipal Airport for runway and taxiway lighting reconstruction.
  • $2.78 million to Waterloo Regional Airport for taxiway and apron reconstruction.

The Administration not only supports infrastructure through funding – it is making it possible to deliver these much-needed improvements more quickly. The Department is working hard to streamline the approval process, cut unnecessary red tape and reduce unnecessary, duplicative regulations that do not contribute to safety.  
These investments and reforms are especially timely because the U.S. economy is surging. Employers have added more than 7 million jobs since January 2017. To kick off the new decade, a robust 225,000 American jobs were added in January 2020 and the unemployment rate is still a remarkable 3.6 percent—the lowest in 50 years.

Aviation is an important part of that growth. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. civil aviation supports more than 5% of U.S. gross domestic product; $1.6 trillion in economic activity; and nearly 11 million jobs.

“America’s airports provide a gateway to the world for our citizens while at the same time delivering first impressions of the United States to visitors from abroad,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “It’s in our national interest to make them the crown jewel in our transportation system. The Airport Improvement Program allows us to do just that.”