The Toccoa-Stephens County Airport will be served by the same company – Foothills Aviation – for the next 18 months.

Airport authority reaches hangar lease agreement

The Toccoa-Stephens County Airport Authority recently agreed to allow Foothills Aviation an 18-month lease of a hanger at the R.G LeTourneau Airfield.

A unanimous vote, with authority member Tommy Gilmer abstaining, on the matter was taken after the authority concluded discussions in a closed meeting due to the discussion of legal matters concerning the issue.

The lease agreement allows Foothills Aviation to continue its operations at the same hangar rental price with interior maintenance of the hangar undertaken by Foothills Aviation and exterior maintenance by the airport.

When the lease expires, the airport authority and Foothills Aviation agreed that the authority would put the hangar out to bid through a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Earlier this year, the authority voted to allow Foothills Aviation to continue leasing the hangar through the end of 2015 though they had voted in 2014 against renewing the company’s lease.

A complaint filed with the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the authority’s leasing policies remained under investigation as of Dec. 28, according to DOT spokesperson Teri Pope.

The complaint was filed by Foothills Aviation owner Bill Wood last year.

It alleges that the authority was discriminating against him in part because of a similar complaint he had filed in 2012.

In other business at the Monday, Dec. 21, called authority meeting, the authority discussed the wording of lease agreements of hangars for individual aircraft storage with airport director Will Cobb.

Cobb said that he had made one change in the wording of the agreements for the leasers to be responsible for utility costs.

Also at the meeting, Gilmer — commenting on budgetary matters — said that all money the airport generates is put back into the airport and requested the governments of Stephens County and City of Toccoa to reconsider funds for the airport.

At a previous meeting, Stephens County commissioner Dennis Bell and Toccoa Mayor Terry Carter elected to withhold monies from the two entities that’s normally plugged into the airport’s budget saying those $15,000 in funds would become available should the airport need them.

At the recent meeting, Bell, who also is chairman of the airport authority, assured Gilmer that the two entities would contribute the funds to cover costs should the need arise.

The Toccoa Record

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