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Commissioners approve Tara Field contract with GDOT

Local leaders are moving forward in an effort to solidify Tara Field's status as Henry County's newest airport.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners, on Monday, approved a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), regarding the acquisition of the airport.

"GDOT is the FAA's conduit for funneling funds to every Georgia airport," said County Manager, James C. "Butch" Sanders. "This contract, in the total amount of $1,436,842, will be with GDOT. This money, combined with an $8.6 million grant, which we were notified that we had received last Friday from the [Federal Aviation Administration], will make up our initial $10 million payment to Clayton County."

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners, in July, voted unanimously to sell Tara Field airport, in Hampton, to Henry County.

The total sale price for the airport is $17.7 million, with the FAA contributing 84 percent of the money for the purchase, according to Sanders. Henry County, he said in July, will pay $2.7 million towards the total price.

The commissioners, on Monday, also approved what Sanders called a "housekeeping" item related to the airport purchase, by designating him as a signatory on all FAA grant requests for the county.

"The federal government uses a particular grant-request form, the SS-424," Sanders told the commissioners. "Every grant request we will make to the FAA will be on that form, until that changes. One of their requirements is that you, as the elected body, designate the county manager as a signatory on this application."

The board is expected, on Tuesday, to discuss a resolution approving agreements for the sale of aviation fuel, and the rental of aviation fueling trucks, to be used at the airport.

In other business Monday, county commissioners approved the following measures, by votes of 4-0: the award of a $199,194 bid to Ruppert Landscaping, to work on the interchange at Interstate 75 and Ga. Highway 20/81, in McDonough; a deed of conveyance and easement for the new Haven House domestic-violence shelter; public-safety agreements with the Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Forestry Commission; and renewal of a software agreement with Harris Software for the county's emergency communications.

District IV Commissioner Reid Bowman was not present for the board meeting.