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Judge says airport can use building authority loan
by Tom Spigolon
January 31, 2014 11:19 AM | 1651 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A judge last weekend denied a request to block Silver Comet Field airport officials from using Paulding Industrial Building Authority loan funds to complete a taxiway project.

Building authority Director Blake Swafford said officials “felt very comfortable with our position” before the ruling by Judge Grant Brantley.

Swafford said Paulding courts had approved bonds issued by the building authority in the past for a hangar and a water tank at the airport.

“The court in Paulding County, through those two bond validations, had already determined that it was legal for the [building authority] to do work out here,” he said.

Sue Wilkins said she and other opponents of proposed Silver Comet Field passenger air service – for which the taxiway allegedly is being widened -- were disappointed with the ruling.

“We look at [Saturday’s ruling] like we may have lost the battle but the war’s not over,” she said.

Wilkins said opponents were happy that Brantley, a Cobb County Superior Court senior judge, was overseeing a larger case challenging the legality of the building authority’s action to give the $1 million loan to the county airport authority.

“We were greatly heartened by his professionalism and his unbiased approach,” Wilkins said.

Charles McKnight, representing those seeking the injunction, reportedly told Brantley on Saturday the authority did not have the power to make loans or pay for taxiways. Building authority attorney Tom Cable said the loan was in line with the building authority’s mission to promote industry and employment in Paulding.

Brantley said he had some concerns about the way the building authority had been funding projects in the past but needed more information about the case before making future rulings, Swafford said. Though Brantley allowed the airport authority to use the funding, he asked the building authority to notify him if it sought to make more loans to the airport.

Brantley agreed to hear the case after all Paulding judges recused themselves.

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