Spalding County Takes First Step to Ask Voters Whether to Build a New Airport

Apr 9, 2014

Griffin-Spalding Airport
Credit City of Griffin

Spalding County residents will get to decide in November whether they want a new airport … maybe.

After plenty of public comment, most of it negative, about building a new airport in Spalding County, the county commission decided Monday night to put the question on the November ballot.

According to Commission Chairman Chipper Gardner, “It’s an issue that is so important such as this, we decided that the voters needed to decide do they want it or not."

However, that is not exactly what the commission actually did. Monday’s vote was just to alert the city of Griffin, which owns the existing airport with the county that the county intends to put the issue on the ballot.

So there are no solid decisions in place about the vote: what will the actual question be or whether the referendum will be binding or non-binding.

The county’s current airport costs about $400,000 a year to run, and Gardner says Spalding County needs tax revenue not a drain on its finances.

Still, with what he has heard from residents so far, Gardner says he feels obliged to vote against a new airport. But he is looking forward to November, when he hopes he will get some information on which he and other commissioners can act.