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JDA looking to build corporate hanger at Cairo airport

Members of the Grady County Joint Development Authority are looking to construct a new corporate airplane hanger at Cairo Municipal Airport that could be leased to owners of a Pilatus airplane.
The JDA voted unanimously to construct the corporate hanger contingent on the authority being able to finance the project through the city of Cairo’s Employment Incentive Program (EIP) revolving loan fund, according to JDA Executive Director Chadd Mathis.
Tuesday’s vote followed a brief closed door session to discuss real estate.
Mathis said he will communicate with the authority’s consultant, Bob Roberson, to verify whether money from the revolving loan fund could be used by the authority for the hanger’s construction.
Typically, money from the EIP loan fund is loaned at low interest to employers seeking to expand and create additional jobs in the community.
According to Mathis, Brent Moore, owner of Madjax, a wholesale golf cart accessory supplier here, is one of the owners of the plane that would be housed in the new hanger.
The JDA executive director said he had been talking with Moore, Gary Allen and Russell Turner about their interest in housing a plane at the Cairo airport. According to Mathis, the pilot of the plane resides in the Whigham area and having the plane here would make it more convenient for the owners and the pilot.
The projected cost of the 80′ x 80′ hanger is approximately $150,000. The authority’s approval was also contingent on the cost not exceeding $150,000 and the project being approved by the Cairo city council.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton said Tuesday the city does not have the money to invest in new hangers at the airport at this time. However, he said the airport’s long-term capital improvement plan does include four proposed corporate hangers and eight proposed T-hangers.
Addleton explained that corporate hangers are larger than T-hangers and are enclosed and more secure.
Although the additional hangers are included in the airport plan, Addleton said there is no federal or state funding to construct the hangers. The federal and state governments will invest, though, in aprons and taxiways to service the proposed hangers, Addleton said.
“It’s a matter of priorities and funding with us,” the city manager said.
Addleton said he would seek the council’s approval for the JDA project, however.
“Anything we can do to increase use of the airport is good for the city. We will do whatever we can to assist with this project,” Addleton said.
There are currently six-unit and eight-unit T-hangers at the Cairo Municipal Airport along with a three-unit corporate hanger, all of which are leased, according to Addleton.
The hanger the JDA is proposing to build would be larger than the current corporate hangers in order to house the Pilatus plane owned by Moore, Allen and Turner.
If the project moves forward, the new hanger would be leased to the plane’s owners for a monthly rate sufficient to service the repayment of the loan from the revolving loan fund, according to Mathis.
City Manager Addleton said the city would likely lease the property to the authority for a yet to be determined fee.
In other business Tuesday, the JDA voted to purchase .24 acres from Durie Cooper for property on 20th Street S.E., south of the railroad that connects to existing JDA property.
Mathis said he recommended the authority purchase the property to provide additional access to property already owned by the authority.
The JDA will pay Cooper $5,500 for the purchase of the small tract.

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