In a full-page ad in the Paulding Neighbor this week, the 30-member chamber board collectively said a lease agreement with a private firm seeking to attract commercial flight service and recruit aerospace industries to the five-year-old airport west of Dallas was done legally, openly and “in the best interest for this county.”
“This project offers the balance we seek between economic development and quality of life,” the letter said.
Some Paulding residents criticized the Paulding County Airport Authority, which manages the airport, for what they felt was a lack of transparency in the process of leasing much of the facility to Silver Comet Partners LLC. The lease was completed in November 2012 but not made public until early October.
The chamber’s letter said the organization supports the effort because it could lead to 3,000 new jobs in Paulding from aerospace businesses which would generate $350 million annually for the local economy.
It also said Paulding County “has always strived to be a location where its residents could ‘live, work and play.’ Currently that is not the case.”
Chamber president Carolyn Wright told a reporter the chamber does not typically involve itself in governmental issues but will do so if it sees a need to support a major economic development effort.
“This was one we felt was absolutely important we show our support for continued job growth and the development of our county,” she said.