Tonight at St. Marys City Hall:
It was just another dog-and-pony resolution from City Council, restating their determination to move the airport. Morrissey read a letter from Capt. Stevens stating the Navy's concerns about the proximity of the airport. Of course he did not read the pivotal one (also from Capt. W. E. Stevens, May 5, 2008) that stated:
“Although the Navy supports the relocation of the airport, no funding is available for such an initiative and I am advised that the prospects of the Navy supporting a legislative initiative for relocation are remote.”
One wonders how real the concerns are if the Navy would not even support legislation to relocate the airport.
In that they approved the funds for the flatwoods salamander study, Council was asked if the taxpayers would be funding the Dept. of the Interior-required surveys of the wood storks, bald eagles, red-cockaded woodpeckers, eastern indigo snakes etc. At almost $700 per survey, the taxpayer's price is high for something that simply isn't going to happen (at least not at Site 1). No reply from Council.
(The "at no expense to the taxpayer" referendum is but a Ghost of Promises Past at this point).
They were asked about the progress of the detailed mitigation proposal that is required by the USACE before it will even consider the 404 application and if that will be available to the public. No reply from Council.
Morrissey spoke of the pressing need to have the current airport land available for the industry that's going to pour into St. Marys. He also spoke of the importance of available local transport, listing rail, truck and water but, oddly, neglecting to mention the fact that, according to the GA Dept. of Industry, Trade and Tourism, a local airport is one of the top ten reasons for commercial relocation.
Howell, once again, asserted his opposition to the relocation plan. No reply from Council.
So there you have it: they will determinedly follow this path despite the citizen's wishes, financial cost to the taxpayers, illogic and prohibitive environmental law. They will incur mounting debt for us all even though the odds of the USACE granting a 404 are slim to nil. At last count over $500,000 (a laughably conservative estimate) has been spent on this misguided project – and more will be flushed away before it comes to its inevitable conclusion.
At this point all that we can do is to watch this train-wreak and let things take their course for they (the pro-relocation cabal on Council) are beyond rational analysis. It is a criminal waste of time, taxpayer money and the citizen's good faith in our local government.