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City receives $184,536 grant from state for Jetport infrastructure improvements

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded Millington $184,536 grant to help fund infrastructure improvements at the Regional Jetport.
Ordis Copeland, business development consultant for the department’s Greater Memphis Region, made the announcement during the Nov. 10 regular monthly meeting of the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
While noting that his “purpose” for attending the meeting had been “a long time coming,” Copeland said “so many” local residents deserve a “big thank you.”
He expressed appreciation to all the individuals who have “served faithfully” on the Millington Industrial Development Board and have made “many efforts over many years” to bring industry into the former Navy property.
“I know that a lot of the infrastructure that’s there was appropriate for the Navy to use,” he acknowledged. “But it’s not appropriate in the use that we see, which is a much higher and better use for that particular property.”
Copeland said the patience and “longtime hard work” of Charles Gulotta, executive director of the IDB and the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jetport Executive Director Roy Remington have “finally come to fruition.”
At the board’s Aug. 11 meeting, Gulotta said he and Remington had been working with Crew Training International, a $40 million Germantown-based company that wants to establish a flight training academy in Hangar N-7 at the Jetport.
He noted that CTI is also interested in constructing three residential facilities or “dormitories” on property that the IDB currently owns.
Because Funafuti Street connects Hangar N-7 to the proposed site for the dormitories, Gulotta said it must be “reconstructed” with the installation of curbs and gutters. He asked the board for authorization to apply for a $250,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority for that project.
But he noted that, before CTI can construct the dormitories, the city must extend its water, sewer and gas lines to the site from Dakar Street. The estimated cost is slightly more than $180,000.
Because of “compelling safety reasons” as well as “aesthetics,” Gulotta said CTI has agreed to  provide $25,000 to help the city bury its overhead utility lines underground on the site. That leaves alocal matching requirement of $30,670 that the board has voted to provide.
“The state of Tennessee said initially that it will give Millington $150,000,” he noted. “If we’re going to bury the utility lines, there wouldn’t be enough to carry that out with a $180,000 cost for extending water, sewer and gas, and also with a $150,000 grant.”
Because Millington had not received state economic development grants for a long time, Gulotta said he requested that the grant be increased to $175,000. He was told to prepare and submit the application, and the state would “take a close look”at it.
“Once the dormitories are built,” he told the board members, “we think the city will be receiving about $30,000 in income. So, you’ll get your money back in approximately one year. And after that, it will be sort of profit.”

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November 2014
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