House bill could give state lawmakers more authority over Tri-Cities Airport Authority

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Some Tennessee legislators feel the state's big investments in a new aerospace park in Sullivan County entitles them to more authority over Tri-Cities Airport.

But not everyone agrees.

Representative Matthew Hill introduced the bill in the house but state Senator Jon Lundberg is refusing to co-sponsor.

And Senator Lundberg is backed by local officials, including Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable.

"Not a very well thought out idea I don't think, that was my first thought. The second mistake was to not do the normal communications," he said.

Mayor Venable said he found out about the proposal when he got a call Sunday, then learned more then he saw it in the local media.

We got a statement today from the Tri-Cities Airport Authority, saying the bill would require cities and counties to give-up local control of the airport.

While they appreciate the Tennessee General Assembly's $4.1 million state grant to help fund the expansion of the Aerospace Park, they oppose the house bill.

Mayor Venable told us Tuesday, he does not think this bill will pass.

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