Local airport projects expected to create jobs

Local airport projects expected to create jobs
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Two proposed construction projects at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport have the potential to create 17 new jobs, according to airport manager Jo Ann Speer.
She met with the airport commission last week to review a layout for a new maintenance hangar as well as bids for site work on an ag complex.
A low bid of $985,956.79 was submitted by Ford Construction Co., for site work for two cropduster hangars. The bid was one of two submitted for the project and is being reviewed by the state and engineers with Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc., which is consulting on the project.
“We’re hoping to get it in this year,” Mrs. Speer told The Messenger today. “Time is of the essence because of the weather.”
The ag hangar project will also use about $142,000 in airport funds, which Mrs. Speer said will come from airport revenues, such as fuel sales and rental income.
The local airport already has a commitment from one cropduster operation and is recruiting others to the airport.
Mrs. Speer said the ag project is expected to be approved soon and construction should begin later this fall.
Due to its potential to create new jobs, Mrs. Speer said she has some pledges from local financial agencies to help with the project and is working on securing more local financial support for the project.
Once completed, the ag complex will feature two hangars, as well as a commons area for cropdusters. There is room for at least two more hangars, according to Mrs. Speer,
A second hangar project — a new 80-foot-by-80-foot maintenance hangar for William Waggoner — is also under review. The airport has requested $458,680 from the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission to go along with $22,900 in local funds for the project. Once funding is approved, site work for the hangar will begin and Waggoner will actually build the hangar and lease the space from the airport. Mrs. Speer said she anticipates the funding request will be approved and said construction should begin by early summer 2013.
Published in The Messenger 10.3.12

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