Franklin-Hart Regional Airport Awarded $1.7m Grant

The Franklin-Hart Regional Airport Authority has been awarded a major grant through the efforts of State Rep. Alan Powell and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

At the Authority’s board meeting last week, Authority president Eddie Addison announced the grant award.

However, in explaining why he worked to secure the funding, Powell said that as Hart and Franklin County leaders continue to court new businesses to the area, it’s important to have an airport that can accommodate their corporate jets by having larger hangers.

Powell added the airport could be more than just a venue for private small planes to land but could also be another vital part of the area’s overall economic development.

Powell said having hangers big enough to accommodate corporate jets means those companies would purchase their jet fuel at the Franklin-Hart Regional Airport, which is how most local airports make their money.

Photo courtesy Franklin-Hart Regional Airport

Discussion then turned to how to come up with the 25% match which amounts to about $425,000.

Hart County Industrial Building Authority Director Dwayne Dye said one option for Hart County’s share would be loaning the Authority money from their revolving loan fund.

But Hart County Administrator Terrell Partain and County Commission Chair Marshal Sayer noted the County is currently in the process of paying for the new county jail and reserve funds are low.

Franklin County Manager Terry Harris said his county has no revolving loan fund and he isn’t sure where their share of that $425K would come from.

Powell suggested the Airport Authority simple take out a loan from one of the local financial institutions at a low interest rate.

No decision was made on how to secure the matching funds and the meeting ended with Authority members agreeing to continue to work on securing that money.

Powell pointed out that the Authority has a year to come up with the match and if they don’t, the money will go back to the State.