Members of the Cartersville City Council voted unanimously Thursday evening to approve a $4.2 million contract for a safety improvement project at the Cartersville-Bartow County Airport.
According to City of Cartersville documents, the bulk of the expenses is for an engineered materials arrestor system (EMAS) that would prevent aircraft from running off the end of the local airport’s runway.
A document provided by Cartersville Assistant City Manager Dan Porta indicates the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is paying roughly $3 million of the project costs via a grant, with federal funds associated with the project tabbed at $209,560.50.
That leaves the City of Cartersville and Bartow County splitting the local share of the project, listed as $1,031,253.07.
“The State has allocated their remaining funds that weren’t spent on other projects to our airport this fiscal year,” Porta told council members. “This is going to assist us in finishing the job that we’ve been working on for a number of years … the runway paving job is something that really needs to be done to help our primary tenant out there, Phoenix Air, and other tenants that use that property.”
City documents indicate that $300,000 is included in the proposed fiscal year 2020-2021 budget for airport expenditures.
“The County will reimburse the City for expenses on another airport grant and these funds will be used as the City’s remaining portion for this grant,” a department summary recommendation reads.
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini asked Porta if the project would exceed the local government’s budgetary allotment for airport expenses.
“I am trying to make sure that we are spending what we have in this fiscal year budget,” Porta responded. “And we’ll work with the County to try to offset our costs for our budget year, they’ve agreed to do that. And as this project moves into our next fiscal year, to make sure that we do have it and spend airport authority money to try to compensate for anything that’s a shortfall in our budget.”
Porta said he received an amended copy of the GDOT contract just hours before Thursday’s public meeting.
Councilman Cary Roth — an employee of Phoenix Air Group, Inc. — advised City officials to pursue a “well-balanced relationship” with Bartow County.
“I appreciate the airport, it’s a great asset, but I think that there may be a little bit that we need to work with them on that,” he said.
Council members followed up that agenda item by unanimously approving a bid to pay Croy Engineering $219,907.65 for engineering work on several local airport projects.
“A number of these invoices for work by Croy Engineering have been paid by the Cartersville-Bartow Airport Authority, however, due to the large project sizes, I am requesting the attached invoices be paid by the City,” a department summary reads, “and a request will be made to Bartow County for 50% of the cost.”
The invoice from the Marietta-based company includes payments for engineering work on runway grading, a storm drainage system and a pavement rehabilitation project.
“It’s come to a point where we need to ask the City and the County to make the balancing request for the airport authority,” Porta said.
A department summary recommendation indicates the expenditure is a budgeted item. At a work session held before Thursday evening’s council meeting, Cartersville City Manager Tamara Brock made a few financial observations on the two airport-related agenda items.
“We’re still going to be short with this increase, even with the County giving that, and then splitting the Croy Engineering for next budget year,” she said. “We’re still going to be short about $100,000.”
Members of the council also heard the first reading of a proposal to rezone about 27.7 acres along Overlook Parkway from G-C general commercial and R-20 single-family residential to MF-14 multifamily.
Atlanta-based applicant CF Real Estate Services, LLC looks to construct a 210-unit apartment complex near the Tru by Hilton hotel in development on the far end of Main Street, east of Interstate 75.
“There was a condition placed on it by the planning commission, the applicant did present a plan that only included one- and two-bedroom apartments,” said City of Cartersville Planning and Development Director Randy Mannino.
Brett Oliver, a partner and director of development for the applicant, addressed council members.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to come to Cartersville and become a part of the community here,” he said. “Our plan for this new community is to attract young professionals to the area that either live here or work here or want to call Cartersville home, but don’t necessarily have a brand new apartment community that they could call home.”
The proposed project, he said, would also include a clubhouse, fitness center and community pool amenity. Unit rentals span from $1,175 to $1,500 a month; while CF Real Estate Services, LLC will manage the property, Oliver said it remains to be seen whether the company will own the complex or sell it.
“Ultimately, we believe that this is in character with the community, and will be in the spirit of the Main Street overlay,” he added. “And that it will be an asset to the community.”
A second reading of the rezoning proposal — and a council vote — is scheduled for a public meeting at 10 North Public Square at 7 p.m. on July 2.
Thursday’s meeting began with a tribute to former Cartersville City School Board President Linda Benton, who died June 15 at the age of 77.
“We just want to wish our best to the Benton family,” Santini said. “Linda was certainly a friend and somebody that has impacted so many lives in positive ways.”
Council members also voted unanimously to approve a resolution condemning racism and discrimination within the community.
“In order to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and visitors, the mayor and city council of the City of Cartersville and the City of Cartersville Police Department wish to condemn racism, bigotry, hate and violence, which cannot be tolerated in Georgia, and in particular, Cartersville,” Santini read the document. “We stand with all citizens of the City of Cartersville and the City of Cartersville Police Department against racism in all its forms and reaffirm our commitment as a city and as a police department to providing an environment that supports civil rights for all.”