WARNER ROBINS — A contractor said Tuesday that he’s working on getting an environmental assessment completed on the land designated for the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership for less than the $200,000 price tag that’s been advertised.
Logistics consultant Donald Jarzynka said during Warner Robins City Council’s precouncil session that quotes for the study, which would test for noise, air and ecological issues, are being taken from agencies to get it completed ahead of the beginning of the project.
G-RAMP calls for aircraft maintenance hangars and ramps and a taxiway to Robins Air Force Base, all to be built on 544 acres of land adjacent to the base. Officials expect the project to bring millions in revenues into the city.
“The assessment is vital to see we’re in compliance and we get a clean slate to start clearing dirt (on the land),” Jarzynka said.
After the assessment, he said, officials will seek permission from the Air Force Materiel Command for the project to begin.
“Once we get that,” he said, “we’re good to go.”
Late last year, then-Mayor John Havrilla sent out a letter to neighboring jurisdictions seeking to have them contribute to the proposed $200,000 price of the environmental study for the total project, estimated to cost up to $72 million at times. The reasoning then was because Warner Robins isn’t the only area with base employees and, therefore, not the only city that will benefit once the project is up and running.
While many cities and counties have been willing participants, some have been slow to approve their proposed portions of the environmental assessment’s cost.
Local officials toured the proposed site last week to get a feel for all that’s prepared for the site.
Also Tuesday, the council discussed financing options for the new law enforcement center, including taking money from the city’s general fund, buying the building through an installment plan, using revenue bonds and possibly tendering another special purpose local option sales tax in 2012.
The council last approved a structure to cost about $7.5 million. Of that, $5 million was approved in a 2006 SPLOST. The council voted in August to place the law enforcement center atop Perkins Field, off Watson Boulevard at Mulberry Street. The council also allocated an additional $4 million from SPLOST revenue to help offset costs. Those funds, though, were deemed unavailable for anything other than water and sewer projects.
City Comptroller Bill Harte said just over $5.2 million is available from what has been collected of the $10,325,000 designated to the city through the 2006 SPLOST. The city had about $4.3 million in the fund at the end of January.
Councilman Daron D. Lee suggested looking into grant funding options to offset some of the costs and mentioned the city investing in a grant writer for future purposes.
The council also discussed pending renovations on the Sewell Circle Park Pool. About $50,000 had been budgeted to complete renovations to get the pool reopened by Memorial Day, officials said. Presently, the pool is closed because work is needed to bring the pool up to code.
To contact writer Marlon A. Walker, call 256-9685.