published Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Hardwick Field acreage less than officials thought

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Hardwick Field, Cleveland’s current airport, does not include as much land as city officials thought it did.

The city expects to sell the airport with the proceeds going toward the cost of the airport under construction in the Tasso community.

City officials had estimated there are 105 acres at Hardwick Field, but the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority learned Friday the correct figure is 61 acres.

“The 100 figure that floated around apparently included flight easements,” authority board member Verrill Norwood said.

The authority is hiring an appraiser for the property, he said, and an environmental assessment was done this week.

When the new airport opens in about 18 months, the former easements no longer apply, authority Chairwoman Lynn DeVault said.

“My hope and expectation for the value has got to be less, according to what we own as opposed to what we thought we owned,” she said.

Meanwhile, at the new airport site, work soon will shift to the terminal and hangar area.

Mark Paslick, of PDC Consultants, told the authority that local pilots and airplane owners are waiting to see how much moving their aircraft will cost.

Authority members and Paslick have been meeting with owners and pilots to develop plans for the terminal and the services it will offer.

Hangar costs at the new airport will be competitive with surrounding airports, DeVault said.

Since complete information about state and federal grants won’t be available for several weeks and next month’s authority meeting conflicts with the Tennessee Airports Conference in Nashville, the authority canceled its August meeting. It will meet again Sept. 16.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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