Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority members accepted the lowest bid for T-hangars and taxilanes Friday, though it will require using a portion of the airport’s entitlement money for the next year.
Vice Chairman Lou Patten, Verrill Norwood, Mike McCoy and LeRoy Rymer Jr. unanimously voted to accept the bid from Merit Construction, of Knoxville, for $1.73 million. Chairman Lynn DeVault was absent.
Cherokee Construction, $1.79 million; Wilson Construction, $1.81 million; and Tri-Con, $1.83 million, also submitted bids.
Ronnie Fitzgerald, PDC Consultants, said the hangar bids were higher than expected and for more than the authority had available. The state has appropriated the money for fiscal year 2013, which should be available in July.
“We worked with the contractor and found a few savings,” he said. “We’re recommending you accept the award based on the bid they submitted, then we’re going to sit down with them some more. He’s given us preliminary numbers on a change order to reduce the cost.”
The sale of Hardwick Field depends on when the 20 T-hangars are finished. Construction should begin in four to six weeks and the hangars ready to occupy by late August or early September.
Fitzgerald also reported they asked the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for permission to discontinue continual monitoring on the creek required during construction.
“We are at the point where we’ve asked them to discontinue those,” he said.
In other business, the airport authority requested $92,910 in financial aid from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for five-year monitoring of Little Chatata Creek and vegetation in the relocated stream’s new riparian zone; and for monitoring the wetlands mitigation project at Rolling Hills for 10 years. The city’s share of funding is $4,890. The $97,800 for the 10-year monitoring program is required by TDEC.
“TDEC requires that when you do the creeks or establish wetlands ... you look after them for a few years. You check them to make sure they are doing OK,” Fitzgerald said.
Airport Director Mark Fidler reported requesting funds for the planning phase of extending the runway from 5,500 feet to 6,000 feet.
Construction of the Jones Airways hangar should begin by the end of May and end by Oct. 17.
Fixed Base Operator Taylor Newman reported flying 129 people during the recent open house that attracted about 200 visitors.