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Airport Authority Planning for October Air Show

An opportunity zone application has been submitted to the state.

The Paulding County Airport Authority and the Industrial Building Authority held first regular meetings for 2012 Wednesday morning.

Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport officials are well into the planning and organizing stages for an October air show. Air show organizers Kerry Tidmore, and Dave Carmichael, both also veteran pilots, presented during the Paulding County Airport Authority meeting. The air show is slated for Oct. 20.

Tidmore stressed that safety was the bottom line for the show and added that exposing young people and residents to the airport and the world of aviation is vital to the county’s future.

A “Georgia Airports Means Business” video presentation underlined economic impact to the state from its many airports, which stated that by 2011, the industry employed more than 470,000 people and brought more than $17 billion statewide. The video presentation viewed during the airport authority meeting also will be also accessible on the county’s government access channel, according Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport Director Blake Swafford. 

Swafford also reported on the Capital Improvements Program. The CIP is a five-year program tied to the FAA. Projects currently undertaken by the LPA Group are primarily one for landscaping and another to add a restaurant to the airport terminal building. Swafford said the timeline for completion of the restaurant is hopefully by summer of this year.

Fixed Base Operator Paulding Jet Center reported 17 hangar customers and five “tie-downs.” PJC has also added a part-time employee to help with customer service and has also begun to promote the Paulding airport in the northern region of the U.S. to a segment of commuters that often travel south.

Matt Wilbanks told the board that hangar construction is back on track after a sub-standard concrete foundation was redone by a different contractor. Superior Foundations took over that contract from the original contractor, and existing contract was approved by the board in December.

The PCAA/IBA Board voted in favor of an agenda item to approve the existing airport equipment maintenance contract, which must be kept current under FAA guidelines, and also another item to approve the corporate hangar construction contract to the lowest qualified bidder.

Nick Smerigan with Roadtown Enterprises, the California-based company hired to help design, build and run the facility, said that union representatives who recently visited the new facility found it to be a very professionally built facility. Smerigan also said that a new film about the life of Jackie Robinson could begin filming at the new facility in Hiram in April or May.

Board member and construction manager for the film studio Chris Cochran added that remaining was only to tie up some loose ends. But no date was announced yet for a ribbon cutting for the new facility in Hiram off Bill Carruth Parkway.

During the IBA meeting, several items of old business were covered in addition the film studio, including an update project to add a water tank at the airport site. The water tank is tied to airport operations.

The water tank deadline for bids was moved from Jan. 19 to Feb. 2, Swafford said, to allow two of the prospective companies more time to prepare. That project is expected to be completed by summer of next year, he said.

One additional item of new business to consider an offer for the potential purchase of hangar steel will be further discussed at next month’s meeting.

Paulding Chamber of Commerce President Carolyn Delamont reported that an amenities and shopping map to serve the film industry visitors is in the works. And an event to be hosted by radio personality Neal Boortz next week in Dallas is almost sold out, she said.

Economic Development Director Jamie Gilbert reported that the organization has added one full-time administrative assistant, and that last week an application for an opportunity zone in Paulding County was presented by County Chairman David Austin to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Designated areas were recently reconfigured to better pool county and municipal interests.

Gilbert said the application was “well received” and that the hope is for an approval around March of this year.

Opportunity zones are a state redevelopment tool that provides local companies within designated boundaries with increased incentives and benefits for job creation.

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