A Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division grant could be in the city’s future, as officials are preparing to present the grant paperwork for council approval.

While trying to find funding sources for the Alice/Jim Wells County Municipal Airport, City of Alice officials came across a TxDOT aviation grant that was previously used for fence construction at the airport. 

In a meeting earlier this month, city administration met with TxDOT officials on possible federal funding which is available through a type of designation called the  National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

There are 3,400 airports across the county that adhere to the NPIAS designation, and that have access to federal funds.

“Because you have that designation, it allows you access to certain federal funds. These funds can be used for runway/taxiway preservation, for security upgrades like additional fencing and it can also be used for hangar construction. The great part about it, we can initiate this process by simply sending them a letter of interest,” Alice City Manager Ray De Los Santos Jr. said.

The city would identify several possible projects that could be covered under the federal funding, then TxDOT Aviation would send their engineers to Alice to assess each of the projects the city identified.

Based on those assessments and on the goals the state and federal government have as far as airports that fall under the NPIAS status, the airport could be eligible for as much as $500,000 in grant awards.

As part of the grant program, the funds would require a 10 percent match. De Los Santos said the city will continue to inspect the grant possibilities over the next month, and will present an agenda item for the council to consider in its regularly scheduled February or March meetings.