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Commissioners affirm support of Gwinnett airport committee

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Commissioners responded Tuesday to the airport citizen review committee, which asked for board support to continue its work after disbanding in December.

Frustrated with the issuance of a request for proposals moving forward with the controversial Gwinnett Airport privatization process before the committee's work was complete, the group agreed to meet again last week with some qualifications from the Board of Commissioners.

In response, the board voted to "affirm the importance" of the committee and instruct the group to continue its work. Commissioners also promised to "engage in thorough due diligence efforts prior to any action to award the proposal for privatization of Briscoe Field."

That proviso came short of the committee's request against acting on proposals, which are due Wednesday, until its report is complete. But they gave the committee a May 8 due date for recommendation.

Commissioners also did not address a request that the committee be allowed to review the proposals before they become public and a request for an environmental assessment of impacts to expansion at Briscoe Field. However, Commissioner Lynette Howard was designated as a liaison to the committee to clarify the resources the county would provide.

"The work of this committee is very important, no matter what happens with the request for proposals," Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said, adding the group has a role in gathering input from the public on the controversial topic.

Committee members are expected to meet soon to decide if the commissioners' response is enough to continue their research.

Comments

Falco 2 years, 10 months ago

The commissioners should move forward with this. We NEED the new economic growth and jobs.

There are nearly a million people living here now. It's unbelievable that there's no airport nearby to serve a county this large.

Yes, let's do it!

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R 2 years, 10 months ago

How much are these folks paid to print the same text endlessly? By the email? By the individual letter? HEREIN lies the endless "jobs" that we all can benefit from...

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 10 months ago

bunch of song and dance...clever slight of hand and use of misdirection..committee even called out the commissioners for lack of direction..this issue should be dropped...now.

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BR 2 years, 10 months ago

Falco - Don't be deceived by the promises of jobs and economic development. It is simply not going to happen. The FAA's own document on the economic benefits of airports make this clear in the case of Briscoe field: No new hotels, etc.

The much more likely scenario is that businesses will leave the area. Ever been to Hapeville or College Park near Hartsfield Airport? Declining residential neighborhoods as a result of the airport will reduce property values even further, drastically shrinking the tax base and causing areas of blight that will spread. (Ever been to Hapeville or College Park near Hartsfield Airport?)

Committing to build the airport will put the taxpayers of Gwinnett in tens of millions of dollars of debt for 30 or 40 years. This is an investment with an extremely negative return for taxpayers. Even the Gwinnett Commission's own consultants (IMG) have recommended against it.

This project needs to be ditched NOW.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes - we need the two and a half million jobs the nice investor/developers have promised us! The streets will be paved in gold and our lives will be perfect, if only we believe! Sure, the taxpayers will ultimately be on the hook for it, and zero of these boondoggles have ever been successful elsewhere, but come on, what could possibly go wrong? What the heck does the FAA (the guys that funded whatcha call a study on this - see Atlanta Metropolitan Aviation Capacity Study) know about avaition and such anyway? What's not to trust with the BOC - have they ever lied to us?

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jack 2 years, 10 months ago

"The work of this committee is very important, no matter what happens with the request for proposals," Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said.

Translation: "We need the cover they will provide us."

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 10 months ago

A couple more specifics from the above mentioned study (FYI, we happen to have a pretty large and still expanding airport fairly close by, and given the projected ridership [half that of Dobbins] we don’t appear to be a major business center):

“The only secondary airports that have been successfully developed in the U.S. are international gateway airports that were developed 50 or more years ago to supplement existing, capacity constrained airports located near the business centers. No supplemental airports developed to primarily serve origination and destination passengers have been a success.”

Total cost was estimated at $2.223 BILLION (not many venture capital firms or even governments with that much on hand):

“Without an alternate source of funding for the capital development required for the supplemental airport, the ‘break-even’ airline rates and charges per enplanement that the supplemental airport would have to charge in order to recover the total annual airport operating cost and debt service costs far exceed the rates charged at US commercial air service airports,” according to the study.

Guess who that "alternate source" is? Maybe we need more input from a panel or a few more studies, until we get a different answer?

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BevL 2 years, 10 months ago

The Citizens Review Committee is important and their work should continue. The Citizens Review Committee has already put in many hours of study and meetings and if they continue, the time and effort of these citizens to diligently serve and provide the BOC with a recommendation should not be wasted. I would hope the Board of Commissioners would give the committee time to finish their studies and give their recommendation before any action is taken on the RFP's. . If the Board of Commissioners does not wait for this committee's report then the statement that the committee's work is important to the BOC's is just simply not true.

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Karl 2 years, 10 months ago

But BevL, you only want the citizens committee to continue and report to the commissioners if they recommend against limited scheduled service.

I'm sure you wouldn't be so adamant if they recommended FOR scheduled service.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow - your ESP skill, reading her mind like that and all, is pretty impressive! Then again, we could just go with the NUMBERS instead.

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Karl 2 years, 10 months ago

I've read BevL's posts before, I understand her desired outcome.

By the way, your numbers are bogus and you know it. The $2.2B stated in the study you reference has nothing to do with the limited scheduled service proposed. The real number is about $100 million.

Don't let facts get in the way of your diatribe, though.

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WakeupGwinnett777 2 years, 10 months ago

If you think the "BOC", has not already made up their minds about this your an idiot. Just look around, Why has the 20/S.R 316 and Collins hill intersection being improved. All of a sudden its very important to get those intersections flowing good.....hmm I wonder why? maybe because we need to make sure people can get to the airport easier ??????

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hubertsaam 2 years, 10 months ago

Just drop it...nobody living in this area wants to see an expansion of Briscoe field. The area around the airport is way too densely populated and we would all see our property values plummet because of the increased noise and traffic...just look at College Park and Hapeville or any other community close to a major airport. Proponents of the expansion do not live here and they don't have the best interest of the surrounding communities in mind...I say if you want to build a major airport in someone's backyard do it in you own!

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Don 2 years, 10 months ago

This entire committe is just like the "Blue Ribbon" trash committee. They met and then the BOC did the opposite. It seems like the same old dark smoke filled back room is getting used but just by some differnet people.

I would like to see some number son the current operation of Briscoe and then compare to the future. Private yes but no to commercial flights is my say if the numbers work. I would also like to see som guarentees from the contractors.

I would also like to see who owns property around the airport as well so we know who really is behind this.

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pjciii 2 years, 10 months ago

change the name to the fleecing of Gwinnett county and here is an example of what you will have. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmbK1c... the mid america airport outside of st louis. the airport can not be profitable without connections for passengers to bypass ATL all together. who are you going to attract southwest. look at what happens when st joe paper drops the funding to southwest in panama city. all you will end up with is a huge tax burden on the taxpayers and urban blight. patrick

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