No air­port vote, funds go to pen­sion, debt

Coun­cil votes to pay off $4,525,413

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

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.

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