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Small aircraft maker considers Covington
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A sporting aircraft manufacturer is considering a site near Covington's airport for a manufacturing plant.

The company needs 100,000 square feet of land for a facility and would employ 80 workers initially, but up to 600 over the course of several years.  The company is also considering several other communities, City Manager Steve Horton said Monday.

The industry submitted a request for information from the city, including a price for 72-acres of land next to the Covington Municipal Airport and Nisshinbo, the brake manufacturer. Horton and City Attorney Ed Crudup valued the land at $27,500 per acre.

The council approved the valuation by a 5-1 vote Monday, with Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams opposing.

In other action on Monday, the city received a $443,000 state grant for replacement of water lines and to install hydrants along Geiger, Banks, Hudson, Need and Moore streets, Durden Circle and Maddox Drive. City Grant Writer Randy Conner said he expected construction to start by early July.

The city will have to pay a $110,000 match, but part of that will be in-kind services, or in-house work done by the city as opposed to paying cash.

The council also approved first reading of an ordinance change that will allow it to order an already condemned house to be demolished if the cost to repair the house would be greater than half of the value of the house.

For instance, if a $50,000 house and lot had been condemned, a process in itself, the council could then vote to order the house to be demolished, if repairs would cost $25,000 or more.

Mayor Kim Carter said the ordinance was on the books previously, but was omitted when the city adopted a new ordinance code in 2008. She said the ordinance would be a measure of last resort.