No airport vote, funds go to pension, debt
Council votes to pay off $4,525,413
The Covington City Council did not vote on a proposal to spend $5 million on developing the Covington Municipal Airport at their Monday night council meeting.
While Covington Mayor Sam Ramsey had previously said he would bring the proposal forward for a vote, at Monday night’s meeting the mayor announced to the gathered pub- lic, many of them residents of Oxford, that the council would not be discussing or voting on the proposal that night due to an already full agenda.
Ramsey said he wanted to make sure the airport funding proposal was given the attention and debate it deserved and that he didn’t feel the funding measure would have enough discussion time if it was voted on Monday night.
The timing of the airport vote, a day before the city’s municipal elections on Tuesday, had some wondering if the mayor and other supporters of developing the airport were trying to push through a measure which they might not have the votes to pass after the elections.
However, the city council did vote on and approve two another major spending measures, to paid for from the proceeds of Covington Cable.
The city council unanimously approved paying off $4,525,413 in long-term debt.
The loans to be paid off include a 1999 Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia loan, a 1992 Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority loan, a 1993 GEFA loan, a 1995 GEFA loan, three 1999 GEFA loans and a 2004 loan on the purchase of a ladder truck for the Covington Fire Department.
The council also approved spending $3 million to bring the city’s employee pension fund up to 100 percent funding levels.
The only dissenting vote in the pension funding measure was from Council Member John Howard.
The net proceeds from the sale of Covington Cable were $22.95 million.
After the $1.08 million grant donation to the Covington Housing Authority for the purchase of property to be used for a homeless shelter, the $3 million spent on the pension fund, the $4.5 million spent on paying off the city’s most expensive debt and $34,736 spent on severance bonuses to Covington Cable employees, the city is left with $14.3 million in proceeds from the sale.