By Faye Gaston
The Franklin Field Airport is located on Highway 110. Bullock County owns the airport. The Franklin Field Airport Authority board members are all volunteers. Board Chairman is Thomas Main, Vice-Chairman is Cope Lawrence, and Secretary/Treasurer is Suzanne Johnson. Other members are Melma Gillis and Hunter Smith.
The Bullock County Commission appoints board members for a 4-year term. Legal Counsel is provided by Attorney Von Memory, who is a former board member. Financial statements are provided by Addie Smith, accountant, for all board meetings. The board meets the last Thursday of every month at the Franklin Field terminal at 5:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
Notices of the meetings are posted in the local Herald newspaper. At April 29, 2021, meeting, it was reported that insurance was brought up to date. Chairman Thomas Main confirmed $18,000 in the general fund and $159,000 in the grant account. David Padgett, Director of the Bullock County Economic Development Authority, reported that there is still grant money, about $32,500 that has been allotted to Franklin Field that is earmarked for airport projects.
There was discussion about the purchase of the Penn property of approximately 2.5 acres with the purchase price of about $14,000. A survey and legal description is needed.
Legal Council Von Memory stated that he would meet with Mrs. Calhoun about closing the sale of her property to Franklin Field, and County Commission Chairman Ellis would sign off the sale.
Matt Thomason (Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, an engineering company) would meet with Mrs. Calhoun to explain moving expenses and the Federal Aviation Agency (FFA) reimbursement. At the board meeting of May 27, 2021, Von Memory reported the Calhoun property purchase was completed. At the May board meeting, the motion passed to place double 16-foot gates at the Calhoun property.
Addie Smith presented the financial statement at the May board meeting and discussed cash flow, insurance payments, and land purchase. Jordan Russell, with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood (GMC), reported on the airport fencing project status. GMC had been in conference with the Army Corps of Engineers and should have a permit within two weeks. At the July board meeting, he reported that there would be a pre-construction review by Columbus fence, GMC, and the Airport Authority.
David Padgett stated that money for the new above-ground fuel tank was coming from the Bullock County Economic Development Authority. The new fuel tank would be placed close to the new pump.
At the July airport board meeting, the purchase of the new fuel tank was approved. It was reported that 2,000 gallons had been sold since May 7.
At the July meeting, Chairman Thomas Main stated that the terminal needed a weekly cleaning with the increased traffic at the airport.
Fire breaks around the airport perimeter were discussed. Chairman Thomas Main reported on the incident across the highway involving a shoot-out at an auto body business.
The airport was involved because multiple rounds from the shoot-out hit a hangar and a vehicle parked inside one of the bays. The sheriff met with the business owner and is requiring him to repair the damage.
Results of the August 26, 2021, board meeting will be published later concerning the status of the airport fencing, fuel sales, cleaning of the terminal, fuel tank purchase, Penn property purchase, hangar damage, disposal of the Calhoun residence, and the discussion of the five-year plan.