Paulding Airport Dispute Could End with Successful Mediation
Saturday, March, 17, 2018
Attorneys from both sides will meet to discuss the lawsuit regarding the potential commercialization of Pauling’s airport.
According to one of the attorneys, Chuck Conerly, some other attorneys involved in the suit made contact about meeting in mid-March to talk about the related issues about the commercialization. Mediation could help to bring a resolution to the dispute and potentially resolve the pending lawsuits related to the issue. Conerly stated that a US Department of Justice attorney was involved and guiding the parties toward a resolution, primarily because the department’s attorneys represent the Federal Aviation Administration, named in some of the lawsuits.
Whether or not all parties are willing to participate in mediation is not yet known. So far, other have expressed hope that mediation could resolve the issue. Commission Chairman Dave Carmichael expressed excitement about the potential for a resolution and Commissioner Tony Crowe agreed. One of the six residents involved in the lawsuits also expressed excitement.
The majority of the lawsuits arose from the Paulding County Airport Authority signing a 2012 contract with Propeller Airports, a New York based company. The contract would allow recruitment of commercial passenger service as part of a larger development for the facility. The action was kept quiet for approximately a year before it was announced, which led to the lawsuits.
The majority of the community felt the lawsuits hindered efforts to recruit industry, which is unfortunately because it would balance the tax base in an otherwise very residential county. Since 2013, the county has been split politically and the issue has affected the elections that have been held since the contract was announced.