The Airport Authority requested the grants from the Aeronautics Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation for environmental and infrastructure improvements. The grants totaled $225,300. The state share is $214,035 and the local share from the city of Cleveland is $11,265. All three are 95/5 percent matching grants.
One of the grant applications from the Airport Authority asked for $95,000 to update the layout and design of the new airport. The state share is $90,250 and the city is responsible for $4,750.
According to the grant application, “The previous airport layout plan was completed over eight years ago. An accurate depiction of existing facilities and future development is required.”
A second grant in the amount of $97,800 was requested for long-term monitoring on-site and off-site as required by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
TDEC requires the Airport Authority to monitor Little Chatata Creek, and vegetation in that relocated stream’s new riparian zone, for five years. The grant covers the third through fifth years. A second portion is for monitoring the wetland mitigation project in the area around the closed Rolling Hills golf course for five consecutive years for a total of 10 years. The city’s share is $4,890. The state’s share is $92,910.
The third grant is to aid in disposing of Hardwick Field by funding an environmental analysis of an underground fuel tank. The grant is for $32,500 with the state’s share equal to $30,875 and the city’s share placed at $1,625.
State Sens. Todd Gardenhire and Mike Bell, and state Reps. Kevin Brooks and Eric Watson were informed of the grants.
Brooks, whose father works in the aircraft industry in the Atlanta area, said he and many other pilots comment to him on a constant basis about how wonderful and advanced the new airport really is and how fortunate the community is to have it.
“This additional $225,300 in funding is welcome news for the Cleveland Regional Jetport and our entire community. These matching funds make possible continued progress of this great addition to our community. We are blessed to have this state-of-the-art facility in our city, as it sends a global ‘Open for business’ sign for both existing and potential industry."
Gardenhire said, "Airport infrastructure is a very important economic development tool. We are very pleased these funds have been approved.”
Only nine airports in the state received funding during this round of grants.
“This airport is very important to Bradley County,” Bell said. “These funds will help to make needed improvements.”
Watson said he too is very pleased the grants will help with improvements “and I am hopeful that we will continue to see many more grants coming into Bradley County in the future.”
A fourth grant has not yet been approved by TDOT, but funds have been requested for the planning phase of extending the runway from 5,500 feet to 6,000 feet.