A group of local officials charged with breathing life into the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership project have begun soliciting proposals to conduct the crucial environmental assessment needed to begin construction.
Laura Mathis of the Middle Georgia Regional Development Commission and Gary Lee, executive director of the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency, toured the nearly 100 acres targeted for the project Wednesday, bringing along representatives from about a dozen companies that could potentially bid on performing the assessment.
Preliminary work proposals are due by Feb. 24, Mathis said.
Left unanswered is how the city will pay for the assessment. Last summer, the city estimated the cost at about $200,000. Construction on the project cannot begin until the assessment has been completed, which will take about a year.
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Warner Robins is approaching the proposed project as a regional issue. Late last year, former Mayor John Havrilla sent a letter to surrounding local governments requesting a specific amount of funds from each.
“We’ve reached out to the other communities because this is a Middle Georgia project,” said Warner Robins City Councilman Paul Shealy, who joined Mathis and Lee on Wednesday.
“With the idea that we’re moving forward. ... The money is going to come from somewhere.”
Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen identified G-RAMP as his top priority upon taking office this year. “That’s gonna be our first 100 days,” Shaheen told The Telegraph days after winning a December runoff election.
The roughly $200,000 needed to fund the environmental assessment is only a small part of the entire project.
As much as $90 million will be required to complete G-RAMP, according to estimates.
The blueprint for G-RAMP would expand the Robins Air Force Base perimeter, protruding into what is now a wooded area northeast of the base.
The project would add more than a dozen hangars, capable of holding C-5, C-17 and C-130 aircraft to the Robins airfield.
“The exact number of hangars would depend on what kind of hangars you build,” Mathis said Thursday.
Information from The Telegraph archives was included in this report.
To contact writer Thomas L. Day, call 744-4489.