published Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Cleveland's Hardwick Field set for June auction

AUCTION

* WHAT: Reserve auction of Hardwick Field property

* WHEN: June 5 @ 11 a.m.

* WHERE: Hardwick Field, Airport Road, Cleveland, Tenn.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The city's Hardwick Field will be up for auction June 5, subject to approval by the Federal Aviation Authority, according to the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority.

The property will be sold in sections by a reserve auction that will take place at 11 a.m. at Hardwick Field, said Verrill Norwood, authority vice chairman, at Friday's meeting.

Dempsey Auction Co. of Rome, Ga., will handle the event, said Norwood.

"They have the experience and capability," Norwood said.

However, board members did express some concern about whether a proposed $7,500 upfront advertising fee charged by Dempsey Auction Co. would be reimbursed after the sale of the property.

After reviewing a letter and contract from the company, the Airport Authority voted 4-0 to approve the contract contingent upon Dempsey's agreement to reimburse the advertising fee after the sale of the property.

FAA approval to release the property for sale is still in process, said Norwood, who said he hopes the agency will finish its review by June 3.

Airport officials said they hope to get $1.785 million for the property, plus an additional 10 percent to cover auction commissions.

Hangar owners at Hardwick Field will have 60 days after the date of property closing to move, sell or donate their hangars, Norwood said.

Hardwick Field, established near North Lee Highway in 1955, is nothing more than a few empty hangars and a desolate runway surrounded by a weed-lined fence. It closed on Dec. 31.

The airfield has been living on borrowed time since the opening of the new Cleveland Regional Jetport on Dry Valley Road in January 2013.

As soon as the new jetport opened, Hardwick was closed to visiting traffic. Night operations ended in July.

The handful of pilots and aircraft that remained at Hardwick transitioned to new homes in a flurry of activity in December, said Mark Fidler, director of operations at the Cleveland Regional Jetport.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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