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Gainesville airport manager Palmer to step down at end of August
Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport manager Terry Palmer is leaving his post at the end of August.

After a five-year tour as manager of Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, Terry Palmer is leaving the post at the end of the month.

News of Palmer’s imminent departure circulated at City Hall earlier in the week.

Gainesville City Councilman Sam Couvillon attended a meeting of the Airport Advisory Committee on Tuesday where he learned of Palmer’s plans to take a new job.

“The biggest news is Terry is going to be finished at the end of this month,” Couvillon said in reporting back on what transpired at the Airport Advisory Committee during a council work session Thursday.

City Manager Bryan Lackey is already looking to find a new airport manager, Couvillon said.

Palmer is preparing to leave during a busy time at the airport. Couvillon said construction continues on repaving the main runway and improving lighting. He said a new hangar is being built, too.

Plans also are in the works for an upgrade of the airport’s 75-year-old terminal building through a $500,000 federal grant. Gainesville and Hall County have agreed to each pay $125,000 as their local share of the cost. Upgrades would include making the bathrooms accessible to wheelchairs, and sprucing up the conference room.

With so much activity going on at the airport, Couvillon said the city manager is looking to fill Palmer’s position “in short order.”

Palmer could not be reached for comment Friday.

Mayor Danny Dunagan had only good things to say about the departing airport manager.

“Terry has done a wonderful job, but I think he’s got his dream job,” Dunagan said.

Couvillon said Palmer flew more than 300 hours last year alone as a corporate pilot when he was off duty with the city.

“He was working a lot,” Couvillon said.