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Rusk County approves additional airport hangars

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Oct. 4, 2012 at 11 p.m.


HENDERSON - The Rusk County Commissioners Court approved a bid of $290,900 from C.E. Marler and Associates to construct five new hangars at the county airport at its Thursday morning meeting.

The project will help promote economic development within the Rusk County and Henderson area, said County Judge Joel Hale.

"This will be an engine to drive economic development for our county," Hale said. "We expect it to be a selling point to encourage both individuals and businesses to relocate to Rusk County."

The airport has hangars for about 40 private planes. No commercial flights use the airport. The new hangars are expected to be completed within 150 days.

Hale gave credit to airport manager David Dumas for increasing interest in and use of the airport during the past year. Dumas was hired in October 2011.

"He's done an excellent job of promoting the airport through activities like the open house and fly-in that was held in April," Hale said.

The judge said the county keeps fuel prices low to encourage pilots to choose the Rusk County airport over others in East Texas for their refueling needs.

"By constructing more hangars, we can offer another service to local pilots," Hale said.

The county's strategy of low fuel prices and an attractive airport seems to be meeting its goal of convincing pilots to use it as stopping place, he said. Harry Moore, a pilot from Richardson, was there Thursday.

"It's a gorgeous, top-notch facility," Moore said. "I planned my stop here because the fuel prices here are the lowest in East Texas and that's what drives airport business. This is my first stop here, but I plan to refuel here whenever possible."

Moore also said that advertisements for events within the county, like the upcoming Syrup Festival, had intrigued him and that he would try to make a visit to the county to attend some of those events.

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