City discusses millions in transportation funding

The airport will receive millions from the FAA

Transportation was the topic of interest at Tuesday's city commission meeting.

City Commissioners heard a presentation from the Georgia Department of Transportation on House Bill 277 which proposes a one cent sales tax. Commissioner Roger Marietta says the sales tax would give Southwest Georgia more money than available now for road improvement. "When you combine all 14 counties the legislation is discussing it would give us $450 million dollars to spend on transportation projects GDOT has approved" says Marietta.

If the bill passes, Georgians will vote on it in 2012.

In other city news commissioners approved funding for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport and that will go hand in hand with the money the Federal Aviation Administration is giving them. Airport Director Yvette Aehle says the money came earlier than expected. "They called us last week so we had to approach the commission and ask to accept this money now because if not we don't know what will happen with fiscal year 2011 funding" says Aehle.

The Airport will receive anywhere from $4 million to $10 million dollars to fund various projects including apron improvements and a new terminal building. The portion the city has to pay will depend on the amount of money received.

Aehle says she fully expects to have the grant signed and back to the FAA by the end of next week and have a clear understanding of the exact amount we will receive.