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Council ratifies Elliott airport agreement
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The Dawsonville City Council voted Monday to ratify an agreement that transfers 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 states that if the city and Elliott family cannot agree upon the purchase price of the additional acreage by Nov. 1, 2017, the land will automatically revert back to the Elliotts.

The agreement was signed by Mayor James Grogan, William C. Elliott, Ernest G. Elliott and Daniel L. Elliott and returned to the city's legal counsel.

On Monday city council member Caleb Phillips made a motion to ratify the agreement, and council member Jason Power seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.

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

The city is also searching for qualified consulting firms in planning, design and construction administration services for the purpose of improvements to Elliott Field.

According to an ad that ran in last week's paper, the city is requesting statements of qualifications only for consulting firms that are currently prequalified with the GDOT.

The ad also stated that the city is not looking for a priced proposal.

"Those that are interested will send in a request for a proposal, I hope we'll get eight or nine or 10 so we can pick out the best company, and then we'll get a committee together to pick out who we want," said City Manager Bob Bolz. "If GDOT is in agreement then we'll start the agreement about how much they'll charge."

Bolz said that the ad is not premature, even while GDOT is still in the process of conducting a feasibility study to determine if the airport is viable.

"We're just getting prepared: if [GDOT] decides that it's feasible and FAA decides that it's feasible, then we'll have a consultant that can help answer questions and help us through that process." Bolz said. "It takes a little while to evaluate them, two or three weeks. Then hopefully in three or four months we'll have heard from GDOT, but who knows."

The city has not had any statements of qualifications back so far. The ad ran on March 1 and the city will continue to receive statements until March 31.

In other news:

AMP amendments to be heard on Monday
The city planning commission will meet at 5 p.m. March 13 to discuss and potentially vote on requests made by Jeremy Porter, owner of the Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, who on Feb. 13 presented an application to the commission asking for amendments to stipulations already set in place in the property's current zoning.

The amendments would include allowing garage condos to be built on the property, eliminating the noise ordinance in the park on all holidays and for up to 10 additional days per year and extending the hours that the low-sound go-karts may be operated, among others.

The application was tabled so that the commission could hear firsthand the noise level generated by the motorsports park, as well as to provide more clarity in the requests.

The commission is a recommending board and can only vote to recommend approval or denial by the Dawsonville City Council. The city council would have the final say in approving or denying the requests.