COVINGTON -- An aircraft assembly plant is considering locating on 25 acres of city-owned property at Covington Municipal Airport.
City Manager Steve Horton said the project has been presented to the city under a code name -- "Project Quadrangle" -- and he does not have information on the true identity of the business.
"Per preliminary information received, the assumed prospect investment would be approximately $75 million and they could employ 300 or more people," said Horton. He stressed that "this is only a prospect in the very early stages of information gathering. We have no knowledge of where else they may be looking."
There is presently a privately owned and operated rehab/recovery business on a portion of the site under lease agreement with the city. The lease owner, Stephen Ratchford of Norcross, has been notified of the city's intent to cancel the lease. The lease requires six months notice to cancel.
"We don't know if this prospect will even take, but one we thing we do know is they are actively pursuing information," Horton said.
It may be possible that there is enough room for the assembly plant and the existing business to co-habitate there, he said. The property under consideration is located south of the runway.
In other news, the City Council denied a request from a pilot to pay damages that occurred to his plane after he hit a survey marker at the airport on June 30.
"At the airport there exist various permanent survey markers. One specific marker is indicated by a sign on a post 42 inches in height," said Airport Manager Vincent Passariello. "The aircraft in question is a low--wing aircraft and the left wing hit the sign damaging the leading edge of the wing and scratching the bottom of the wing. The owner presented an estimate in the amount of $6,487.82."
The city's insurance provider denied payment of the claim, citing negligence on the pilot's part, and the pilot is now threatening to hire an attorney if the city does not settle, Passariello said. The marker has been in place for 20 years and this is the first time it has been hit, he said. The pilot has been a customer at the airport for more than 10 years, he said.
"If the insurance claim was denied and the deductible is $1,000, it would not be my recommendation to pay this man $6,500," said Assistant City Attorney Frank Turner Jr.
The council agreed not to pay damages.