Airport borrows $ 750,000 for a large hangar
After Statesboro Bulloch County Airport receives more than $ 500,000 in unexpected income from a film production, the county is borrowing all of the $ 750,000 needed to build a new two-bay rental hangar for airplanes. ‘business.
County Manager Tom Couch and Airport Manager Kathy Boykin said the airport is expected to be able to repay a large portion of the loan from the income from the rental of hangars and the sale of fuel. While paying off over five years at a very low annual interest rate of 1.5%, Couch said, the county-operated airport may also retain much of the nest egg it has accumulated and be better prepared for. any possible disruption of local special-purpose transport Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, income.
Another project awaiting construction is the “reclamation” or resurfacing of the airport’s parallel taxiway, at an overall cost initially estimated at $ 1.2 million. For projects like this, the airport receives grants from the Federal Aviation Administration through the Georgia Department of Transportation, but these usually require a local share of the funding.
“A lot of this debt problem should be at least partially paid off through rental income and gasoline sales, and you know the airport is well funded right now,” Couch said Thursday.
He noted that he would have enough to pay for this one project.
“But while they have a lot of money in the bank, we recommended that it would be better if they fund a short-term income bond through the Public Facilities Authority, and that way they have enough cash to meet local match requirements for the FAA and DOT grants they receive, ”Couch said.
Funding for the hangar project “also creates a kind of hedge” in the airport’s accounts to maintain it “in unforeseen circumstances where T-SPLOST is not renewed,” he said.
When approved by a majority of Bulloch County voters in 2018, the 5-year 1% sales tax for transportation expenses affected up to $ 562,500 at the airport. This represented a total projected revenue of $ 48 million to $ 60 million, with the largest shares for road and street projects in the county and its cities.
T-SPLOST tends towards the higher end of that range, Couch said, but voters are expected to approve in a new referendum to extend beyond the fifth year.
Three of Bulloch County’s elected commissioners – Jappy Stringer, Anthony Simmons and Timmy Rushing – met in a specially appointed role as Bulloch County Public Facilities Authority at 5 p.m. Tuesday and cleared the issuance of a bond to BB&T Governmental Finance. BB&T offered the $ 750,000 at 1.5%, the lowest rate among quotes received from five banks.
Then, at the full council of commissioners meeting at 5:30 p.m., all six approved an intergovernmental agreement with the authority, committing county revenue, if necessary, to repay the loan.
“It’s almost like making a deal with yourself,” Couch said, “but it’s all perfectly legal and honest.”
The Bulloch County Public Facilities Authority was created by a county-specific law of the state legislature in 2020. By acting through this authority, the county government can issue bonds in some cases without holding a referendum. . Likewise, the city of Statesboro government used a newly established city redevelopment agency earlier this year for the one-time $ 4.5 million bank bond used to fund upgrades to two parks.
Local company Hawk Construction LLC was awarded the contract to install the corporate hangar with a bid price of $ 683,341, accepted by the commissioners on June 15. Hawk’s price was the lowest among sealed bids received from five companies.
The plan calls for the installation of a metal building comprising two separate sheds 75 feet by 75 feet, each with a small office and toilet in one corner, on a concrete slab, as well as paving to include parking spaces. .
This will match the existing two bay corporate hangar at the airport. One of its 75 x 75 bays is occupied by a business jet shared by several local companies, while four smaller planes share the other bay, said Boykin, the airport manager.
“The reason we want bigger hangars is because we have a lot of charter and aircraft requests, different things like that, that could base the aircraft here if we had the bigger ones. hangars, ”she said.
But Boykin spoke to someone from Hawk Construction on Thursday and was told the company couldn’t get the necessary materials until December, so construction won’t take place right away, she said.
The Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport also has T-hangars with space for 53 relatively small planes. It houses five other hangars, including one used for a Georgia Forestry Commission aircraft, two used as maintenance shops and one private.
“We have a waiting list for the corporate sheds as well as for the smaller T-sheds,” Boykin said. “A lot of people want to move their planes to our airport. … We have several things in our favor.
In addition to having a 6,000-foot runway for jets, the airport is staffed and sells jet fuel as well as aviation gasoline, she notes. It also has tankers and can therefore offer full service as well as self-service refueling.
“A lot of small airports only have self-serve gasoline,” Boykins said. “So that helps, then we just renovate the track, then there’s the location. “
In March and April, a mock-up of the Korean War-era aircraft carrier USS Leyte’s superstructure was built on a rear runway at the airport, which was then used to film parts of the big movie ” Devotion ”. The production company leased the space and paid the airport, or indeed the county, for that use.
“It is also a blessing. … ”Boykin said, after noting that this unexpected income was over half a million dollars. “It’s the airport revenues that will help pay for these other projects.”
The airport’s total revenue from the film appears to have been $ 529,780, with the additional $ 29,780 coming mostly from aviation fuel purchases by the filmmakers, Couch said Friday.
The county received bids in April for the roadway reclamation project, and RB Baker Construction, a subsidiary of Reeves Construction, submitted the lowest bid among four bidding companies, Couch reported. Baker’s base bid was $ 852,504 with an additional alternative of $ 89,536.
Boykin cited $ 1.2 million as the estimated total cost of the project and noted that the winning bid was there.
Currently, this project faces both some uncertainty and the possibility of cost savings for the county and the airport. Due to some special provisions of federal COVID-19 pandemic recovery funding, no local funding was required last year for a grant for design work.
This would also be the case with construction funding if it advances through that federal fiscal year, saving what would typically be a required local match of 5% with 90% federal funding and 5% public funding, a Boykin said.
But the GDOT has yet to receive more federal funding to be able to allocate it to Bulloch County.
“It’s on hold until the federal government allocates funding for the project, and if they get it here before the offer expires, we can move forward,” he said. she declared. “Right now, we just want the federal government to allocate the money.”
She had heard a word expected on the matter on August 17th.