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City council extends airport agreement
Staff still working on plans with GDOT, consulting firm
City of Dawsonville

The Dawsonville City Council recently voted to extend an agreement ratified by the council in March that transferred ownership of a portion of the Elliott Field airport runway to the city.

The agreement hinges upon a grant from the Federal Aviation Association and the Georgia Department of Transportation, which if attained would allow the city to purchase the rest of the runway as well as surrounding airport property from the Elliotts.

The agreement stated that if the city and Elliott family could not agree upon the purchase price of the additional acreage by Nov. 1, 2017, the land would automatically revert back to the Elliotts.

The council voted Nov. 8 to extend the agreement for another year.

City Manager Bob Bolz said Monday that city staff has recently met with GDOT officials, who have stated that there is a need for the airport in this area.

GDOT also provided suggestions for an airport layout plan, and city staff and council members provided feedback on that plan. The layout plan is part of what will be sent to the FAA, which will have the final vote to approve or not approve the airport, as well as awarding available grant funding.

“If everything works out, the FAA will grant 80 percent, GDOT will fund 10 percent and the city’s 10 percent would be covered by the donated land,” Bolz said.

In May, the city selected a consulting firm, Lead Edge Design, to help them understand the requirements of running a public airport and what GDOT and the FFA are looking for.

In March Bolz said that having Lead Edge on hand is just part of the preparation.

"If [GDOT] decides that [the airport] is feasible and [the Federal Aviation Administration] decides that it's feasible, then we'll have a consultant that can help answer questions and help us through that process," Bolz said.

The council announced its plans to attain the airport for public use on Feb. 6 after a discussion in executive session.

In other business:

On Nov. 2 the city received a letter from developer Len Reeves withdrawing an application to amend zoning stipulations for two plots of land totaling 9 acres on Maple Street S, which he filed early this year.

Reeves asked that language that would keep him from marketing his proposed development of 54 townhome-style units to occupants of all ages, instead of just active adults as outlined by current stipulations, be removed.

During the application process planning staff recommended that a pool be added to the development, and Reeves said that a federal application that would provide funding for his project had yet to be approved, and that it might not allocate enough funds to cover the cost of a pool.

Reeves gave no reason for withdrawing the application in his letter, but in an August discussion amongst council and Planning Director Casey Majewski, then-Mayor James Grogan said that Reeves could come back before the council again in a year when he had obtained enough funding for the amenity.