GARY, Ind. (AP) — The former CEO of the Indianapolis International Airport
has been appointed to oversee a troubled $166 million plan to expand the
Gary/Chicago International Airport.
The northwestern Indiana city's Airport Authority voted 5-1 vote Monday to
give John Clark broad authority to oversee other consultants and contractors
hired for the project. The Times of Munster reported that Clark's
consulting company already has two contracts with the airport to develop a
business plan and oversee its privatization effort.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and airport officials announced last week
that completion of the airport's expansion will be delayed at least nine
months until September 2014 due to environmental problems and disagreements
The airport expansion plan includes extending the 7,000-foot runway to 8,900
feet and moving rail lines.
After years of delays, officials had announced three years ago that the
expansion would be complete by the end of this year.
The Gary/Chicago International Airport also took some of the final steps
Monday needed before they can vote to approve the largest borrowing by the
airport in its history.
The Airport Authority took two votes that advanced a plan to borrow around
$35 million. That money is needed to keep the expansion project moving
forward and also pay for needed airfield repairs.
The borrowing was not popular with the only two members of the public to
speak at the hearing.
"It's like you are setting the airport up for default before you even begin
the game," Gary resident Derrick Price said.
The Airport Authority is expected to take a final vote July 22 on the
ordinance authorizing the bonding, which will allow it to borrow up to $65
million if needed.