(The Center Square) – The Port of Seattle Commission has authorized $5 million to pilot a program intended to repair and replace soundproofing equipment in communities near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

It's part of a total budget of $6.5 million, with $5 million to be used exclusively for construction related to noise reduction repair and replacement, while $1.5 million will be used for the assessment of the Sound Insulation Repair and Replacement Pilot Program.

The $6.5 million will be taken from revenue generated by the port’s levy.

The Port of Seattle levy rate is set at 10.6 cents per $1,000 in assessed value. The port anticipates approximately $1 billion in operating revenue in 2024. Out of the $1 billion, about 6.3% ($86.7 million) will come from the regular tax levy within the port. The maximum allowable levy for the port in 2024 is $115.6 million.

The port’s sound insulation program first started in 1985. Since then, every homeowner in the vicinity has been reached out to, with more than 9,000 homes having been provided with sound insulation.

According to an order from the Port of Seattle Commission, there are currently around 100 homes that have not received packages.

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“Commissioners routinely hear from constituents that – due to several factors, including the age and durability of sound insulation installed several decades ago – some of the FAA-funded sound insulation packages may no longer be effective,” Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed said in a news release.

The Sound Insulation Repair and Replacement Pilot Program is currently providing insulation to apartment buildings, condominiums and places of worship near the airport as well.

According to a Tuesday news release, the Port of Seattle has completed nearly $300 million in sound reduction improvements for communities surrounding the airport, plus another $100 million for school buildings. Sound insulation near the airport is typically funded with approximately 80% in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and 20% funding from airport revenues.

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