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The Local Agenda: Gainesville considering funding for airport study
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners recently approved using $12,500 in SPLOST VI money to pay for a $25,000 study to determine if Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport can handle larger aircraft landing on its runways.

Gainesville City Manager Kip Padgett told The Times the City Council would likely approve its half of the cost in the coming weeks.
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 may attract larger business jets and increase its economic impact on the region, Palmer said.

Council to review grants during work session

Gainesville City Council will review several grant requests Thursday when it meets for a work session.

Two of the grants are related to funding for the Community Service Center, including the annual Legacy Link contract serving senior citizens.

Council will also review several public safety grants for the police and fire departments.

Finally, council will consider a resolution approving a zero-tolerance drug policy for Hall Area Transit employees.

The council work session begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 301 of the administration building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

County to assess contracts for Cherokee Bluffs Park

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will consider approving two contracts Thursday night for the design and construction of Cherokee Bluffs Park.

Located along Blackjack Road in Flowery Branch near Sterling on the Lake, the 100-acre park is planned to include a 2,500-square-foot community building, pavilion, concession stand and outdoor amphitheater.

The first contract, recommended to be awarded to Simpson Trucking & Grading Inc. of Gainesville, will include parking lot construction, as well as pump station, drainage and other infrastructure projects.

Simpson’s bid is about $1.98 million, but the county has budgeted only $1.5 million for this work. County staff said it would negotiate with Simpson to reduce these costs once the contract is awarded.

County commissioners asked staff to bring the contract back to them for review once a final cost estimate is tallied.

The second contract, recommended to be awarded to Carroll Daniel Construction Co. of Gainesville, will include construction of pavilions, an amphitheater and concession stands.

Carroll Daniel’s bid is about $1.46 million, but the county has budgeted only $1.3 million for this work.

County staff said Carroll Daniel has already provided a revised proposal lowering its costs below the budgeted amount.

Commissioner Craig Lutz said he approved of awarding the contract to Carroll Daniel because the company provided the best and most complete design proposal.

The Board of Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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