Airport expansion under way

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, March 19, 2009

Now that the city of Troy has officially acquired the land needed to begin runway expansion at the local airport, applications for construction have begun.

In what started as a court case involving the city of Troy and landowners near the airport, ended in a settlement after Houston County Probate Judge Luke Cooley ruled to force property owners to sell their land.

Owners initially filed an appeal to the case, but Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the situation was resolved and land has been purchased.

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“Money has been paid, deeds have been recorded, and we own all the property,” Lunsford said.

City Planner Calvin Lott said a total of more than $690,000 was paid to property owners for all the land in the purchase.

Now, Lunsford said an application process has been started, and once that is complete, land will be cleared for the expansion that will add an extra 1,500 feet to the Troy Municipal Airport runway 07.

The project, once it begins, will expand the runway from 5,000 feet to 6,500 feet. Lunsford said originally the city needed an extra 90 acres that spanned five parcels of land to complete construction.

Only one of the landowners had agreed prior to the ruling to sell. Lunsford said while the court ruled they could simply buy the land, the city worked with landowners to negotiate a price.

The majority of the project will be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, a project approved in 2004.

Lott said the closing of the purchase was made Feb. 2 of this year.