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Story Archives: Friday marks day to be remembered
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|Friday marks day to be remembered|
In our lifetime, there are a few distinct moments where we can say "I remember the day when…"
I know that many people in northeast Louisiana can say they "remember the days when the Selman Field soldiers used to train in the fields near the site of the Monroe Regional Airport."
I know that many people can say they "remember Delta Airlines was started right here in Monroe." These trailblazing moments are permanently etched in local lore. Friday, July 17, 2009, will be viewed as one of those moments. On this date, history will be, once again, made in Monroe.
The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony held to commemorate the beginning of construction on our new 21st century multi-million dollar terminal. This is another Monroe Proud sign of positive change for our city, parish and region.
The Monroe Regional Airport is a gateway between our city and the rest of the world. First impressions are lasting ones and we are sure that our new airport terminal will be modern, functional and very impressive. Our new terminal will be 60,000 square feet (double the size of the existing terminal) and provide exceptional service to more than 100,000 air passengers per year.
We extended a personal invitation to President Barack Obama to attend the groundbreaking ceremonies. We received a call from a member of the White House staff, in which the President sent his regrets for not being able to attend the groundbreaking. However, his presence will definitely be felt because $10 million dollars in stimulus funding will help us build our new airport terminal. We are all thankful and Monroe Proud of President Obama's support for this local project. We are also thankful and proud of the $5 million dollars we are receiving from the Federal Aviation Administration southwest region, for this project.
We did not arrive at this moment by chance. It took a lot of hard work and commitment from many individuals and groups. The Monroe City Council and I would like to thank the following people for their support in making this dream a reality: The late and former Mayor Jack Howard and his administration for developing the existing airport; Former Mayors Ralph Troy, Derwood Cann, Robert Powell, Abe E. Pierce and Melvin Rambin and former City Councilmen for their support of the airport; Airport Director Cleve Norrell and his staff; U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu; U.S. Sen. David Vitter; U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander; Former Congressman John Cooksey; Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, Patton-Boggs, LLP Attorneys at Law (our Federal lobbying firm); Gov. Bobby Jindal and the state of Louisiana; Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco; the Northeast Louisiana legislative delegation; Monroe Chamber of Commerce; Monroe-West Monroe Conventions & Visitors Bureau; Airport Design Advisory Board; Air Industrial Park Board; our four major airlines and those who provide private service from our airport; our business community; area economic development agencies; Dean Blackett (PAC Environmental Services) for donation of new airport sign; The LPA Group (architectural firm for new terminal); and, our loyal air travel patrons and taxpayers.
If you are not able to make it to the groundbreaking, please know that you are invited to attend the ribbon cutting (in about 24 months or so). In the meantime….stay Monroe Proud!
James E. "Jamie" Mayo is mayor of Monroe.