Floyd County

Floyd County Commissioners are slated on Tuesday to set standard rates to lease county-owned hangars at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport. It’s an increase for many existing tenants.

Commissioners caucus at 4 p.m. and start their regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. Both sessions are public.

During the caucus, Carrie Edge, executive director of Elevation House, is slated to address the board about the recently launched nonprofit that works with people in the community living with mental illness.

Among the items on the regular meeting agenda are employee recognitions and a rezoning of the Kangaroo station at 3129 Maple Road in Lindale. The property is zoned residential, but was developed as a convenience store in the mid-1990s.

The airport lease policy is expected to be approved with little debate. Airport Manager John Carroll has been working for several months on a model to reconcile disparities that have widened over the years.

There are 67 hangars ranging in size from 986 square feet to 1,870 square feet and lease contracts that vary from 18 cents to 28 cents per square foot. The proposed rate is expected to be 28 cents for all renewed leases, plus an extra 5% surcharge for the two hangars with bathrooms.

“This will affect them all,” Carroll acknowledged when he unveiled the plan in September to the Floyd County Airport Commission.

Brad Robert, who chairs the five-member board overseeing the county-owned facility, said there have been “some sweetheart deals” in the past that it’s time to address. A majority of the citizen-board appeared to favor the hike – even before hearing comments from the lease-holders – but wanted to see some return.

“If we’re going up on the rent, and the fuel, the county needs to put money back into it,” said Steve Graves, the board’s vice chair.

A suggestion from an attendee at the meeting that all the property taxes generated at the airport be funneled back to the facility, however, did not gain traction.

“There’s more contribution to the airport than the tax money it brings in,” said Assistant County Manager Gary Burkhalter. County Commissioner Rhonda Wallace also is a liaison to the board.

Burkhalter did say there likely would be an increase to the budget next year “for delayed maintenance.” Graves’ suggestion that the county target sections for paving each year is a good one, he said, and there are hangar doors and windows in need of replacement.

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