Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clearing the air about the airport and this election.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the airport is really not an issue in this race for county commissioner. Here is why.

When and IF the St. Marys Airport is ever closed and rebuilt south of Woodbine, there will be only three parties involved: the Federal Aviation Administration, the City of St. Marys, and the State of Georgia. The funding obligations are as follows: FAA, 95%; St. Marys, 2.5%; and State of Georgia, 2.5%.

The county is not now and never will be involved in the construction of the new St. Marys Airport, if it ever comes to pass.

Some have said "Yeah, but the county will have to hire additional police and fire because of the airport." Not true. Other than the Bird/Stanford altercation, how many times has the SMPD been called to the current airport in your lifetime?  How many fires at the airport? There you go.

Others have said "Yeah, but the county will have to provide water and sewer and build the access roads." Again, not true. All of that is built in to the cost estimate for the airport and will be paid for by the three previously mentioned parties to the project.

What if the county is asked to maintain the short access roads? Well, the alternative would be for St.Marys to maintain them. Were I on the Board of Commissioners at the time - if it ever came - I would vote to have the county accept and maintain the roads. That would seem a small price to pay for a new de facto county airport.

So, you see, the winner of this race will be in no position as a county commissioner to officially  influence the course of the St. Marys Airport issue. Ergo, it is a moot point and a distraction in this race.

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