County Approves Tourism Tax Funds for Airport
The Moore County Airport Authority’s first appropriation from county tourism funds was approved Tuesday night on a 3-1 vote by the Board of Commissioners.
The $344,445 in Convention and Visitors Bureau room occupancy taxes will be used as the local match to draw down $3.1 million in federal funds channeled through the N.C. Department of Transportation.
airport Manager Ron Maness said the funds would be used to clear obstructions, make runway safety area improvements, and extend the runway by 400 feet. The improvements are requested to prepare the airport for an expected influx of aircraft in 2014 when the county hosts back-to-back U.S. Open tournaments.
“Are we going to have to move the college?” asked Commissioner Tim Lea, who cast the dissenting vote.
A frequent critic of airport operations, Lea questioned the need for further extension of the runway, the only improvement not specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Maness said the runway extension should not affect the Sandhills Community College campus.
An interlocal agreement by the county, the CVB and the Airport Authority was negotiated last year and was authorized by amending the legislation that established the room occupancy tax to fund tourism promotion efforts in Moore County.
In other business, the board adopted a resolution formally accepting revisions in the residency districts for the commissioners and five of the eight school board members. The board also approved a request to seek professional assistance in determining the use of available county office space.
Chairman Larry Caddell was absent because his wife, Lisa, is recovering from a broken leg sustained in a recent accident. Vice Chairman Jimmy Melton, who presided, said the injury was serious.
More details about the meeting will appear in the Friday edition of The Pilot.
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