Lynne P. Shackleford Spartanburg Herald Journal
Spartanburg City Council to consider plans to lease airport land for hangar
April 12, 2012
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  • An entity of Johnson Development Associates has asked Spartanburg City Council to lease about 2½ acres at the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport to build a second hangar.

    Council is set to consider the proposal at today’s meeting.

    Wyoming Associates Inc., a Johnson Development group, leases land at the airport for a corporate hangar, according to a city memo.

    Assistant City Manager Chris Story states in the memo that an expanded lease with Wyoming would increase direct airport revenue by at least $20,000 annually, and city staff is negotiating other details in the agreement, which would be complete before final reading on the ordinance.

    In other business:

    – Fourteen public services agencies have requested a total of $254,269 in federal Community Development Block Grants and HOME Investment Partnership funds administered by the city for the next fiscal year.

    Under federal regulations, the city may allocate a maximum of $93,212 to public service agencies in fiscal year 2012-13.

    The organizations requesting funds will be allowed to present proposals to council today, and staff will present its funding recommendations to council at the April 23 meeting.

    The following agencies have requested funds: Art in Motion, $3,000; Bethlehem Community Center, $6,200; Big Brothers, Big Sisters, $9,569; Butterfly Foundation, $40,000; Christmas in Action (operating), $15,000; Christmas in Action (project), $25,000; COLORS, $10,000; Drug Court, $10,000; Safe Homes Rape Crisis, $7,000; S.C. Legal Services, $4,500; Upstate Homeless Coalition, $12,000; Urban League, $25,000.

    Two organizations, Operation Restoration and Stroble Glaucoma, are requesting funds for the first time. They have asked for $27,000 and $40,000, respectively.

    – Economic Development Director Patty Bock will ask council to approve a resolution allowing Converse Plaza, which is under redevelopment, for tax incentives under the Business Corridor Program.

    The program was created in 1998 to encourage the redevelopment of vacant or under-utilized properties and sites. Qualified sites are eligible for an annual rebate of real property taxes of 30 percent of the incremental real property taxes. The rebate is for up to 15 years or until cumulative rebates total 20 percent of the qualifying redevelopment investment. The goal of the program is to partially offset expenses associated with environmental, demolition and disposal, which typically discourage redevelopment of existing sites, Bock states in a memo.

    Only sites in one of five redevelopment districts are eligible for the program.

    Waterstone Retail Development, the owner of Converse Plaza, recently began demolition on the East Main Street site and has plans to build a Fresh Market and additional retail space. Bock states the development will make a positive improvement to the area and will contribute to the city’s economic growth.

    – Fire Chief Marion Blackwell will ask council to approve purchasing a record management system that will replace an outdated one that doesn’t meet the needs of the department, a memo states.

    If approved, the system would cost $49,149 initially and have a five-year cost of $119,525. The software would allow staff to produce many databases and reports electronically, and would allow the department to benchmark statistics in several areas of fire suppression.

    The bid also includes 10 iPads and an iPad Inspector application (app) for each device so staff can schedule and perform inspections of properties and hydrants in the field electronically and in real time, the memo states.

    Blackwell also will ask council to stop the Spartanburg County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

    – Construction Manager David Cook will present bids on replacing an elevator and stairwell painting at Kennedy Street Parking Garage. The city has planned improvements at the garage during the next several months which include painting, caulking, stairwell repairs, additional lighting, security camera installation and emergency phones.

    Of the four firms that submitted bids, Southern Elevator submitted the low bid of $110,808. Two companies submitted bids for painting, cleaning and work in the stairwells. Bobby Johnson Painting submitted the low bid of $26,300.

    – A committee of city staffers and representatives from groups associated with the Northside Healthy Food Hub will recommend the city award design services for the project to McMillan Pazdan and Smith.

    Ten firms submitted proposals for the project. Of those, four firms were interviewed by the committee. Design services are expected to be less than $50,000 and will be paid from project funds.

    u City Communications Manager Will Rothschild will ask the city to contract with Slant Media to design and build a website. The city’s current budget provides a $75,000 appropriation to enhance online communications to residents and other stakeholders.

    Of the 12 firms that responded to requests for qualifications, six were invited for one-hour presentations to a selection committee. Rothschild states in the memo that the committee was impressed with Slat’s creativity and ingenious approach to combining creative elements with content systems.
    Total project costs will be $50,000 to $60,000, a memo states.

    – Councilwoman Cate Ryba will give a presentation of the Globalbike trip to Tanzania, Africa. Ryba represented the city on the trip.

    Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in council chambers at City Hall.