Old HCSO helicopter hangar to be moved to Hawkins Justice Center

Jeff Bobo • Jun 11, 2013 at 9:37 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office will dismantle the hangar that formerly housed its marijuana eradication helicopter and rebuild it at the Justice Center.

Earlier this year, the HCSO lost its helicopter, which hadn’t been used for about six years.

The helicopter had been acquired in the mid-1990s as federal government surplus, but there was a stipulation that it must be used or it will be awarded to a different agency.

In April, the HCSO marijuana eradication helicopter was awarded to the Jackson, Tenn., police department.

As a result, the helicopter hangar, which is located at the Hawkins County Airport in Surgoinsville, was left vacant.

That hangar, which is about 40 feet by 20 feet, isn’t big enough for a fixed-wing plane.

The Hawkins County Commission’s Airport Committee voted Monday to authorize Sheriff Ronnie Lawson to relocate his helicopter hangar at the justice center, where it will be used for a maintenance garage.

Committee Chairman Stacy Vaughan noted that the hangar was purchased with money from the HCSO drug fund.

“I spoke with the sheriff, and he said ... the building was constructed that it was built in case something like this came up and they needed to move it or take it down,” Vaughan said. “It should be relatively easy.”

The cost of the move will come from Lawson’s budget.

Alana Roberts, county facilities manager, said the building will be reconstructed in an area on the justice center grounds where it can be hooked up to electricity and water.

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