J&J Construction of Chattanooga was selected from seven competitive bids. Airport Authority Vice Chair Lou Patten said the total bid was $2.412 million. The job was divided into three categories: site preparation and security are funded through grants. The terminal building, which came in at slightly less than $1.9 million, is partially funded through grants.
“Bill Allen has been helping us with the private sector fundraising and he’s had a number of visits with local folks who are very interested,” Patten said. “He’s doing a fine job and we expect to start seeing some positive results very shortly.”
Allen was contracted in 2009 by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce to raise $1.75 million for its four-year economic development action plan dubbed “Compass Campaign: Charting Our Future.”
As far as runway construction, Hinkle Contracting Co., Paris, Ky., is on site to begin work on that $7.055 million contract, which includes building the 5,500-foot by 100-foot runway, a full parallel taxiway 35 feet in width and apron area 317 feet by 982 feet wide. The pavement will consist of approximately 122,000 cubic yards of concrete and 32,000 tons of crushed aggregate for the base material. The end date of the 200-day contract is Oct. 18.
The notice to proceed was received on April 16, and the contractor is in the process of staking the project, installing erosion control devices, and building a rock road to the temporary concrete plant to be located on the far north end of the property, according to Mark Paslick of PDC Consultants.
“They do not have their permit right now (for a temporary concrete plant), they are working toward that right now and hope to have it shortly,” Paslick said. “We’re going to start stripping topsoil in the apron area. We have a pond that sits next to the terminal and we have to fill that pond in for us to get as much area as we show (in drawings).”
Paslick said they will begin trimming some trees and removing others so they do not interfere with line of sight approaches.
“We’ll have a tree trimming project that goes throughout construction,” he said.
The airport authority also had a continuing discussion about hangar lease rates with local airplane owners and pilots. Airport Authority member LeRoy Rymer said he would like to see changes in the proposed lease agreements and minimum standards.
“We need to sit down again and go through this a little bit before I can vote on it to approve some of this stuff,” he said. “On minimum standards, the way some are set up relating to hangars and ramps, it doesn’t appear to me they have anything to do with the layout we’ve come up with. To me, it looks more generic where you have free-standing hangars with lots of space around them and we don’t have a lot of that.”
A work session has been scheduled for May 14 at 5 p.m.
Dr. Tim Viser compiled a list of aircraft registered in Bradley County. According to his list, there are 84 aircraft registered in the county. Of that group, some are no longer airworthy. Of the 62 aircraft available locally, he said 26 are at Hardwick Field and 10 are based out of the area.
He said only 35 of the 62 are available to relocate. Sixteen are corporate and eight of those said they would not relocate and four are undecided. There are 19 aircraft owned by individuals. Of those, 11 have said no because they cannot afford the new lease rates; seven others also said no and one offered a maybe.
“I don’t know what all these pilots are going to do, but my hope is that all of these pilots will move their hangars, move their airplanes and be supportive of it,” he said. “We are a captive audience. We’ve got to go somewhere and I’d much prefer to go here than somewhere else but we’re all kind of waiting to see if the agreements we can get will be supportive of our decision.”
Authority members are now in the process of reviewing resumes of 24 applicants for the job of marketing manager.
While the airport is still trying to find a suitable three-letter identifier for aviators, the airport at least has a new mailing address: Cleveland Regional Jetport, 251 Dry Valley Road, Cleveland, TN, 37312.