Ballard Aviation to build hangar in Newton

The Newton City Commission on Tuesday approved an agreement for Ballard Aviation to build a 14,000-square-foot hangar at the Newton City/County Airport.

Ballard will build a hangar, fueling facility, runway apron and parking lot at a cost of $600,000, according to information from the city.

The company will employ six to eight people with an annual payroll of $300,000 to $400,000, the city said.

Newton and Harvey County will provide a new road and taxiway to the property and relocate a fire hydrant.

The county is also providing an economic development grant of $12,500.

Jim Ballard said preparations for the groundwork should start in about a week, depending on the weather. The hangar should be completed in four or five months, he said.

"We're going to... get into aircraft sales and (are) looking at some other things down the road," Ballard said.

He said he might do aircraft interior work or other aviation-related business.

"We have a lot of options out there," he said.

Jim and Iva Ballard founded EagleMed in 1977. In July, they sold the company to Air Medical Group Holdings. But they will stay with the company for the next two years.