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Ordinance quitclaims abandoned right of way of two streets to IDB

By Bill Short

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading this week that quitclaims the abandoned right of way of two streets to the Industrial Development Board.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Alderman Bethany Huffman.
City Finance Director John Trusty said that, on the advice of City Attorney Charles Perkins, notices were mailed to all the adjacent property owners, which is a “standard procedure” in this type of transaction.
Charles Gulotta, executive director of the IDB and Millington Area Chamber of Commerce, thanked the board for its action. He said the “abandonments” will be used for economic development purposes to help create jobs.
The ordinance was unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s Sept. 8 meeting.
It states that, on Aug. 18, the Millington Municipal Planning Commission approved a plan to abandon sections of the right of way of:
(1) Eniwetok Street from the northern right of way of Dakar Street to the western right of way of Hornet Avenue; and
(2) Indianapolis Avenue from the northern right of way of Dakar to the southern right of way of Funafuti Street.
Millington will quitclaim any title it may have in the right of way to the adjacent property owner, which is the IDB.
The city will also abandon the 68-foot right of way of a “proposed” road shown on Lot 6 of Plat Book 223 as recorded with the Shelby County Register’s Office.
While acknowledging at the Sept. 8 meeting that there is only a “curb cut” in that area, City Engineer Darek Baskin said Millington’s 1997 Master Plan proposed a road to connect to Dakar.
“The parcel on the perimeter of this roadway is proposed to be bought,” he noted. “The potential owner of that property would like to abandon that road and develop it. I think it’s going to use that for parking.”
With the ordinance’s final passage, the IDB can now sell the abandoned right of way property to Crew Training International, a $40 million Germantown-based company that wants to establish a flight training academy in Hangar N-7 at the Millington Regional Jetport.
Baskin noted that the company is also interested in constructing three residential facilities or “dormitories” on property that the IDB currently owns.
Gulotta told the board at its Aug. 11 meeting that the Millington Municipal Airport Authority has made “financial commitments” to renovate N-7.
Jetport Executive Director Roy Remington said the flight training academy will bring 75 jobs, 100 students a year and 30 based aircraft that will be part of the “transportation infrastructure” in the city.
To obtain support for the project from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Remington said he and Gulotta used their own money to have an economic impact study conducted. The results show that the project will have a $14 million annual economic impact on the city.
From TDOT, they requested and received a $1.3 million grant to renovate N-7. And because the grant requires a 50-percent local match, the airport authority found slightly more than $500,000 to “put toward this initiative.”
Noting that N-7 will be the “base of operations” for the flight school, Remington said it will include a large bay hangar where the aircraft will be stored and worked on, a “first-class” testing center where the students can take online courses, and “breakout rooms” where they can meet individually with their flight instructors to review each day’s lessons.
South of Eniwetok Street, there will be what Remington called a “multi-purpose” building that is neither a dormitory nor a classroom. It will have a dining facility where the students can “relax a bit” and spend time with one another.
Remington said the airport authority is on a “mission” to grow the industrial tax base of Millington.
“We think the airport is one of the greatest assets that this community has,” he concluded. “And we intend to leverage it to the best of our abilities to bring jobs, growth and prosperity to this town.”

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