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Airport still working to solve stormwater issue

POSTED: May 27, 2014 10:43 a.m.

The route to a possible settlement of lingering issues between Barrow County and the Barrow County Airport Authority is being discussed between legal counsel and representatives of both agencies.

The most recent contention revolves around stormwater fees. The authority received a bill at the end of 2013 for stormwater fees in excess of $6000 from the county. Although this was the first invoice received by BCAA it included late fees for two previous years. The authority does not believe they owe this amount since they practice onsite stormwater management by maintaining their own detention pond. John Stell, attorney for BCAA, briefly outlined the plan being explored at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Many of the details still have to be worked out so Stell said it could be a couple more months before there would be a full proposal ready for discussion.

There are three main issues that need to be resolved – the stormwater fees, back salaries for airport employees that were paid by the county and the use of airport revenues by the county. Stell said the county seems willing to discount the stormwater fees, possibly by as much as half, for credit given for onsite management at the airport’s expense.

For several years, up until 2009, Barrow County subsidized the salaries of airport personnel. That is no longer being done, but the county contends that the airport should have paid the money back. The authority is asking the county to account for airport revenues in the form of aviation fuel taxes that are to be used for airport purposes. They are hopeful an agreement can be reached for these two matters to offset each other. Going forward the aviation fuel taxes could be used to pay the stormwater fees.

Stell said he plans to continue working with the county to reach a resolution.



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