Not on the agenda, discussed for fifteen minutes, then suddenly approved: more funding for the Airport Authority, at the 14 July 2015 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission. Which was similar to the previous morning’s transportation study discussion, except the Commission didn’t vote that time on any possibility of funding that one.
TSA has reduced the amount of money it gives to small airports like Valdosta and in order to have an officer with arrest authority, the county and city of Valdosta must work together to fund the positions (17 hours daily that airport is open). The Lowndes County Commission did not include this expenditure in the budget approved last month because they wanted more information and Airport Executive Director Jim Galloway came to explain the need.
After the security request, there was a request for additional funding for fire protection.
Both requests were approved by the commission.
This was not a scheduled agenda item and was presented during the County Manager’s report.
Which is very interesting considering the Chairman’s last word the previous morning about the public transit and trucking study funding request was:
…it will have to come back and be added to the agenda for reconsideration.
Maybe it just depends on whether the Commissioners like a topic whether it has to be on the agenda to be voted on.
8. Reports – County Manager – Airport Authority Budget Request (part 1)
Video. County Manager Joe Pritchard said “you have at your seats” a proposal previously requested by Commissioners and provided by VLAA Executive Director Jim Galloway. Chairman Bill Slaughter said he had added some material. Galloway said it was for law enforcement to protect TSA people and rental car agents. Steve Everett, VLAA Chairman, echoed the request. He referred to the “shortfall” between the city and the county. Eventually, after some questions from the Commissioners, he elaborated that the City of Valdosta was currently funding the shortfall, and looking for some relief from the county.
8. Reports – County Manager – Airport Authority Budget Request (part 2)
Video. Chairman Slaughter said they had tabled the airport request last time. (There was some debate two weeks ago about whether to table for six months or some shorter time.) Total amount of the county’s portion is about $62,050 for paying about $20/hour for a patrolman. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall moved to pay that amount. Seconded and unanimously approved.
8. Reports – County Manager – Airport Authority Budget Request (part 3)
Video. VLAA Chairman Steve Everett said they’d actually requested $80,000 for police and $20,000 for fire protection. County Manager Pritchard said there was some reference in the documents, but no recommendation from staff. County Chairman Slaughter noted it would actually be half from the county or $10,000. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker moved to pay that amount. Seconded and unanimously approved.
Here’s a video playlist:
Airport Authority Budget Request discussed and approved
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 July 2015.