Mt Sterling is set to benefit from some recent expansions in the new year.
The Mt. Sterling Municipal Airport is making safety improvements to its taxiway thanks to $1.35 million in Rebuild Illinois plan funds.
City Administrator Vada Yingling says the grant is a 90/10 split to cover the total of $1.5 million to complete the expansion of the taxiway. Yingling says the expansion will hopefully lead to increased use of the airport once a key safety issue is resolved by the expansion.
“We have what’s called back taxiing on the runway, which means that when a plane is taxiing out to get to the end of the runway to take off, it is on the runway at the same time possibly at the same time another plane possibly would be taking off. It causes what they call incursion which is a safety violation for most insurance carriers for airlines.
So by adding a back taxiway to the north end it’s going to increase safety. There are actually airplanes that come in and they want to land here for one reason or another, but because of that issue, they see that it says there is back taxiing. They can pull up through the State of Illinois all the airports and they can see all these different and that’s how they know right away. So they might deffer to another airport just because of safety reasons.”
Yingling says the State of Illinois estimates that the Mt Sterling Municipal Airport brings in more than $62,000 per year in revenue from visors, as well as 30 jobs including both direct employees and various connected positions such as pilots and flight management personnel for Dot Foods.
Yingling says contrary to some popular belief, the Mt. Sterling Airport caters to more than just Dot Foods and its corporate vendors. She says the airport is a hub for seasonal hunters, and crop-duster operations, and even medical emergency life flight transfers, as well as a fueling stop, something officials hope will increase when the taxiway expansion project is completed and in compliance with insurance safety guidelines.
The city itself is seeing growth as well with developer MTS Housing ready to sell lots in the new Neylon Farms subdivision immediately west of town.
Yingling says the approximately 20-acre area was purchased from the Holy Family Catholic Church and is ready to go for new constriction.
“The whole entire development was in two stages and should support fifty-one homes. The infrastructure is all done. They’ve got the streets and curbing in. The electric got trenched in here not too long ago, and the gas. All of that infrastructure is in place.
It’s close to the ballpark, it’s close to the Catholic church and the Catholic school, next to the swimming pool so it’s just really not too far from a lot of things. So we are hoping that a lot of people want to move to Mt Sterling and build a new home, or people living in town would also like to build a new home and loosen up some of the other houses.”
Yingling says permits for the construction of the first home in the new Neylon Farms subdivision have begun to be approved.