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|Study may call for new airport in Winnsboro|
The Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) informed the town of Winnsboro it would be more cost-efficient to build a new airport than to expand the existing facility.
That's what Mayor Jack Hammon told the Winnsboro City Council at its regular meeting Monday night.
Hammon said he received early information from an FAA feasibility study that indicated it would cost two-and-a-half times more to expand the airport than it would cost to build a new one. The high cost would come from moving the waste water treatment plant, buying and moving houses.
"The purpose of the study was to determine what would be most feasible," Hammon said. "This is just the early stages."
"It is my understanding that they are going to try to start estimating market value (of the airport). If a new one were built the old one would have to be sold," he said.
Hammon said it could be a while before the FAA releases the study and makes final recommendations, which could be to do nothing to the airport.
"It's a possibility they could decide it is not feasible to build a new airport and we'd have to live with what we've got," Hammon said.
Hammon said these are only the very early stages of pursuing a new airport.
"We understood at the beginning that if it happened, it would be eight to 10 years," he said.
The council members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution opposing legislation that would remove the local sales tax collecting authority and transfer it to a state agency.
"There is a bill in Baton Rouge that calls for sales taxes collected by parishes and municipalities to go through an agency in Baton Rouge," the mayor said. "The system we use is too good to mess with. I think they want to get our money in Baton Rouge and use it a while before they send it to us."
Council members voting for the resolution were Richard Mahoney, Betty Johnson, Sonny Dumas and Rex McCarthy. Councilman Craig Gill was absent.
The council also adopted a resolution giving the mayor permission to purchase the parking lot across from the city court building to be used for community center parking.
The lot is owned by Eleanor Hatfield and Charles Ramage and will be bought for $117,000. That money will be reimbursed to the city by the USDA once overlay and inprovements are made. The city has $155,000 in capital outlay funds for the overlay, but the city must own the lot before the work can be done.
"The USDA agree to let us buy the parking lot, and at the end of construction we will be reimbursed," said Hammon.
In other council action:
• Heard a report from fire chief Truman Welch.
• Heard a report from police chief Lester Thomas.
• Kay LaFrance of the chamber of commerce invited council members to a retail workshop May 6-8.