PTC mayor wants airport authority rep to stay on FCDA board

Proposed changes by the Fayette County Commission to the make-up of the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) board drew two requests by Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch at the commission’s April 10 meeting.

Commissioners are considering updating the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the county and the cities of Tyrone, Fayetteville and Peachtree City. One of the items being considered is to eliminate the position tied to the former Development Authority of Peachtree City (DAPC). In return, Peachtree City would select its representative, as is the case with Tyrone and Fayetteville.

“I would like to request that the intergovernmental agreement related to the FCDA be amended to eliminate the representative of the Development Authority of Peachtree City, which no longer exists, and to replace that position with a citizen representative appointed by the mayor and council,” Fleisch said.

Commissioners are also looking to eliminate the FCDA board position tied to the chair of the Peachtree City Airport Authority (PCAA). Fleisch’s second request dealt with that issue.

“I would like to request that the commissioners provide through the (IGA) agreement for a representative from PCAA to remain on the board. PCAA is a separate governmental agency, chartered by state legislation and is the sole owner of the airport,” said Fleisch. “Falcon Field contributes $140 million to Fayette County and the region’s economy each year. It is difficult to imagine the FCDA achieving its highest potential level of success if PCAA is excluded.”

Fleisch in her comments also referenced an April 10 letter to Chairman Steve Brown from FCDA board member and PCAA representative Richard Whiteley.

“The PCAA board is united in its position that it will not voluntarily abdicate its seat on the FCDA board,” Whiteley’s letter said, adding that the airport is an economic driver for the entire county and is self-supporting. “We believe that arbitrarily removing the airport from the FCDA is unjustified, capricious, shortsighted and will have far-reaching consequences for the county’s economic development.”

Fleisch in further comments noted that Peachtree City accounts for 84 percent of the industrial property in Fayette County, through taxpayers contributes 33 percent of the funds allocated by the commission to FCDA and provides the funding for one of the staff positions at FCDA.

Commissioners at the meeting approved the appointment of new FCDA board members that include Darryl Hicks, Pat Hinchey, Margaret Laton, Todd Strickland and Dennis Dorsey.