City approves airport deal with County

City approves airport deal with County
May 19
09:15 2016



The Winston-Salem City Council approved an agreement with Forsyth County to provide capital funding for the Smith Reynolds Airport during its Monday, May 16 meeting.

Approved last week by Forsyth County Commissioners, the inter-local eight-year agreement has the city and county each providing $150,000 annually for capital uses at the airport, which is located off Liberty Street. It’s the result of negotiations between the city and county, after stormwater fees and city property taxes had become a source of tension between the two governments. The county, which owns the airport, and Airport Commission, which runs it, said the taxes and fees made it less competitive and had begun to explore the idea of de-annexing the airport. The new agreement is contingent on the airport remaining part of the city.

At last week’s finance committee meeting, City Council members said they were glad they’d resolved the airport issue.

“We have an airport that survives and that’s what it does, it survives,” said finance committee chair Robert Clark. “This challenges the airport authority to give us an airport that thrives.”

During the committee meeting, Airport Commission chair Scott Piper also said he was “excited” about the deal.

“I can’t think of another time in history that the county and the city got together in an economic development light for the benefit of the airport,” said Piper. “… Now it’s incumbent on us to get creative and think of ways that we can grow this.”

The city’s public works committee is still exploring the possibility of stormwater fee credits for businesses that install stormwater reduction measures.

Also during Monday’s meeting:

*The city sold a 7,500 square foot building in Brookwood Business Park for $525,000 to Dr. Cullen Taylor of Carolina Tissue Initiative LLC, whose trade name is GLAS. GLAS provides human tissue for research. The business park is located off Liberty Street and is near Piedmont Park and the airport.

*The council approved a $1.3 million no-interest loan for S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation for the construction of ten additional houses in the Ridgewood Place subdivision*.Dan Besse was the sole “no” vote on a speed cushion for Kingstree Neighborhood, which was supported by most residents, because he said that such traffic-calming measures are being overused and may hinder some emergency vehicles.

*During the public comment session, two speakers asked for a ban on wild circus animals like the ones used by Ringling Bros. Circus, saying that the treatment of those animals is unnatural, inhumane and can result in dangerous situations for humans who come in contact with them. City Council Member James Taylor said he’d research the issue and bring a resolution.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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