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The Local Agenda: Gainesville to consider funding for airport study

POSTED: July 29, 2014 12:35 a.m.

Gainesville City Council will discuss providing $12,500 in special purpose local option sales tax money to pay for an airport study when it meets in a work session Thursday morning.

The study will determine whether Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport can handle larger aircraft landing on its runways.

Hall County approved its share of the $25,000 study a few weeks ago.

Airport Manager Terry Palmer said he hopes the study, which will test runway pavement strength, will allow the airport to increase its landing weight load beyond 50,000 pounds. If so, the airport can attract larger business jets and increase its economic impact.

Palmer said there is plenty of runway length to handle these larger airliners.

In other business, council will consider transferring properties along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Desota Street to the Gainesville Nonprofit Development Foundation, which builds and refurbishes homes for low-income families across the city.

Gainesville City Council will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 301 of the administration building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

Joint Municipal Association meeting tackles local tourism

Local government officials met Monday night at Jaemor Farms in Lula for a Joint Municipal Association meeting to discuss the latest tourism initiatives across the county.

Officials from the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau, Gainesville tourism office and Lake Lanier Olympic Venue discussed the improving local tourism sector, reporting occupancy rates and revenue per room at hotels in Gainesville have increased this year while Hall County ranks 12th in the state in tourism spending.

Meanwhile, tourism officials are trumpeting the economic impact that could result from the USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships hosted by the Olympic Venue between Thursday and Saturday. Olympic Venue Manager Morgan House said the event could bring in more than $500,000 in tourism-related spending.

Hall County recognized for its financial reporting system

Hall County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report for the 2013 fiscal year.

“Our office works hard to make sure the CAFR is as comprehensive and transparent as it can be every year,” Vickie Neikirk, director of Hall County Financial Services, said in a statement. “(W)e hope our work continues to be worthy of this designation for many more years to come.”

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:



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