City Gets Middle Georgia Regional Airport Fixup Funds

The Macon City Council on Tuesday accepted some $427,500 in federal money to go toward airport upgrades, including a new fingerprinting machine to screen employees.

Some of the work at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport has already been done, on the city's dime, and will be reimbursed by the Federal Aviation Administration grant, airport director George Brown said. Some of it is new work, but Brown said Tuesday he didn't have a breakdown of the projects.

In the end, though, the federal money will pay for drainage improvements, runway-area safety improvements, terminal rehabilitation and the fingerprinting machine, according to grant documents.

The fingerprinting machine will be used on employees to satisfy security requirements, Brown said. It will not be used on passengers, he said.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

- approved $31,500 in city money for Macon's other airport, the Macon Downtown Airport, for improvements to the parking lot. Three council members voted against the measure and criticized the city administration for not providing information on the issue until just before the vote. Others joined them in the criticism, but voted to appropriate the money. It's been a common complaint and City Council President Anita Ponder said she would meet with city officials on the issue.

- approved a $49,000 contract with Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants Inc. to perform an environmental study at the Terminal Station, which the city is spending millions to renovate. The study is required before the Georgia Department of Transportation will sign off on the city's plan for the building, Mayor Jack Ellis said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press