The NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park may look to the state for future funding to get the slowly moving project off the ground.
During a meeting of the park's board Wednesday at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, park officials said they recently met with Michele Brown, the chief executive director of the New Jersey Economic Development Agency, in hopes that the agency will be a future source of funding for the park, which has faced significant financial struggles.
"The message we were sending was that we need to stay invested in this effort. We can only take it so far," said Howard Kyle, chief of staff to Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson. "I think she was receptive to that especially when we did lay out what other states are doing in terms of attracting aviation-related business. We're anemic compared to what they're doing."
Ed Salmon, president of the park's board, said he sees Brown playing a major role in the park's future. Under previous leadership, the park incurred more than $1 million in debt in an infrastructure installation. Construction on the first building has yet to begin.
Officials have been working to complete a series of transactions necessary to turn over control of the project to the park's board. The park is expected to become an auxiliary organization of Stockton, lending the project additional credibility as it pursues funding sources and tenants.
A final agreement between the college and the park is expected within about a month, Salmon said.
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