Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, asked for the regional council to reconsider aviation projects, especially considering that the tax was supposed to be for projects of regional significance. Then he pointed out
Out of that $503 million about 40% of it or $212 million is projected to be generated here in Lowndes County. And when you look at what's being returned, for instance to the city of Valdosta, it's $47 million. It is certainly one thing to be a donor, but that's a pretty substantial donor.
He said he appreciated all the other counties, but much of the money would go to counties that are not contiguous to Lowndes County and are not part of the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the four counties of Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, and Echols. He continued:
Lowndes County is about 26% of the region's population and we generate about 38% of the revenue, and we're not quite getting that back in terms of the distribution.
You may wonder why a City of Valdosta official was speaking for Lowndes County. County Manager Joe Pritchard was there at the start of the meeting, and I think County Engineer Mike Fletcher was, as well. County Chairman Ashley Paulk came in late and summoned Pritchard and Fletcher outside the glass doors of the meeting room. They stood there for quite some time, peering in, and then vanished.
Here's the video:
Aviation Projects, and Valdosta is a substantial donor –Larry Hanson @ T-SPLOST 2011-09-19
T-SPLOST Public Meeting, Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 September 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).