PARIS — A large federal grant to pay for a perimeter fence and study obstruction lighting at the Oxford County Regional Airport has been accepted by county commissioners.

The $193,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration was announced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King earlier this month.

According to county Administrator Scott Cole, the grant will pay for a 2,000-foot long, 7-foot high chain-link fence along the western boundary of the airport, which is off Number Six Road in Oxford. The fence will be anchored by concrete, but is not topped with razor wire, Cole said.

“It’s not a security fence, but it’s not easy to scale a 7-foot fence,” Cole said. The project carries a $215,000 final price tag, he said.

The fence is intended to prevent unauthorized access to the property and deter wildlife and people from unintentionally crossing onto the runway.

In a joint statement, Sens. Collins and King said the perimeter fence is a necessary component of the airport’s security.

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“Maine depends on its network of small, regional airports that connect more rural parts of the state,” they said in a statement. “By helping to control access to the runway, the new fencing will significantly enhance the safe operation of aircraft flying into and out of Oxford County.”

Some of the money will also go to a study of obstruction lighting on the hills around the airport, Cole said.

The county hopes to receive waivers for some of the obstruction lights that are not in use and have not been used for a number of years, Cole explained.

The grant is the newest in a series of FAA disbursements to the airport in the past five years.

In 2008, the airport received more than $1.8 million for improvements, including rehabilitating its 3,000-foot runway, replacing runway and taxi lights, clearing trees and sign relocation.

In 2011, the airport was given $255,000 to rehabilitate hazard beacons and improve runway safety as part of a $650,000 grant package to three regional Maine airports.


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