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Work on new hangars at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport set to take off

Owners of small aircraft will soon have a place to house their planes near the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport. During a joint city/county meeting last Thursday evening, both bodies approved a bid for Two State construction to build T-Hangars.

The Thomson City Council voted unanimously in favor of the work which includes $450,000 of FAA entitlement money to pay for paving the apron and a $500,000 OneGeorgia low interest loan to help pay for the hangars.

County Commissioner Fred Favors took issue with the use of county contingency funds for the project and chose to abstain from the vote. The city and county will each pay $161,000 for the project.

With the rising cost of building materials, former City Administrator Bob Flanders - who is currently a consultant with Thomson - said further delay on the project would cost the governments even more money.

"Don't walk away from a half million dollar loan at 3 percent and nearly a half million dollars of grant money because you don't have $100,000," he said to Commissioner Favors during discussion about the project.

Mr. Flanders added that ad valorem taxes on planes housed in the new hangars would more than pay back the amount of the county's match.

Phil Eberly of W.K. Dickson - an airport consultant for the city and county - said at 77.7 percent occupancy the hangars would be profitable. He added that there is currently a waiting list for space in those hangars.

Commission Chairman Charlie Newton also said that increasing the tax base with the hangars would help accomplish a number of projects on tap for the local governments that would not put a tax burden on local home owners.

Two State's winning bid was $714,000 for construction of two hangars with space for 18 planes. Construction could be complete on the hangars as early as late summer.

The hangars on tap for now are half of the proposed project. Mr. Flanders said there is no time line for construction of the other two planned hangar buildings.

Web posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007

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