Special to the Enterprise
Airport projects will be set back nearly two years after an announcement at Tuesday’s airport authority meeting that the grant funding for a $600,000 power line relocation is now gone.
Chairman Josh Cothren told the authority that the project had set in limbo for nearly a year – even before the current authority members took office – due to disputes between the county and the Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership Corporation over a guarantee of payment.
The county commission finally accepted the addition of a guarantee after several months of contract disputes. But for the last two months the contract has sat in the OREMC’s hands for final approval.
During that time, the county got the word that the state was pulling the plug on that funding – first given to the airport authority in 2009 for the relocation – because it had waited too long to start the project.
The relocation project will still move forward with federal and state funding filling in the gap, but the money will be taken out of budgets for future phases of the airport project. How this will effect specific phases of the project still remains unclear.
The relocation is a project the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have said is a requirement before further development can continue.