Last updated: August 27. 2014 5:29PM - 198 Views
By - jrunions@civitasmedia.com

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New Tazewell interim mayor Phil Greer is apparently not letting the grass grow under him as he took the reins of city business last week to pursue a project that will extend the Municipal Airport hangars.

The city acquired a $1 million federal grant that must be obligated for use by the end of the fiscal year. City building inspector Jerry Hooper met with Greer to get his preliminary approval to proceed with the project.

Hooper said it was necessary that he meet with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Aeronautics Division in Nashville by September.

The grant money will provide for the installation of eight hangars with possibly enough funds left over to extend the taxiway.

Once installed, the hangars should pay for themselves in rental fees in about three years and three months, said Hooper.

He, Greer and Alderman Andy Duncan spent a bit of time discussing whether to purchase larger, steel hangars.

As it stands, the city’s portion of the matching grant will be $50,000. If the steel hangars are purchased, 100 percent of the costs of those hangars would be absorbed by the city.

Hooper said he knew of one or two pilots who would need a larger hangar for their airplanes, one of which needs the alternate accommodations by December.

The three men decided to pursue the eight standard hangars, for now, and decide at a later date how the city can provide the steel ones.

Once the project gets underway, the city plans to rework the layout of the airport somewhat, and move the parking lot to another area to make room for larger planes to taxi.

Jan Runions may be reached at 423-626-3222 or Twitter @scribeCP.

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