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The LaGrange Daily News
$400k damage estimated at LaGrange Callaway Airport from 2023 storms
By Tommy Murphy,
County officials are estimating around $400,000 worth of damage to the LaGrange Callaway Airport from hail and other storm damage from the major storms that hit Troup County earlier this year.
Public Services Director Dexter Wells said they are still working with the insurance company to be reimbursed for the damage but in the meantime, repairs need to be made and they are running out of budgeted money to do so.
Wells said the airport has the money to pay for the repairs within its reserves but the county needs to approve moving the funds from reserves to operating expenses.
The airport has already done some repairs out of budgeted funds but it now needs to move forward with major repairs, which include roof replacements and other big items.
Wells estimated about $300,000 in reimbursement from insurance claims.
Wells requested that up to $400,000 be moved from airport reserves to pay for necessary repairs. If fewer funds are needed for the repairs, the money along with insurance reimbursements would be returned to the reserve fund.
The insurance company is currently waiting on repair bids from the county before cutting any reimbursement checks, Wells said.
Purchasing Director Diana Evans said the insurance company has worked fairly quickly with other claims and has asked for bids so they can complete this claim.
Evans said the county has already received a sizable insurance payment from the earlier storms and they are expecting around $1.2 million for the next payment.
Wells said that because the airport is an enterprise fund and they don’t have a storm damage account, they need to move money into operating funds to pay for the damage. The funds will not come from the county but from reserve funds that the airport has set aside.
County Manager Eric Mosley explained that the airport is run like a business where all the money it creates goes back into its reserves. The county runs the airport but does not directly profit from it other than through property taxes.
“The taxes paid on the airplanes at the airport generate a tremendous amount of tax dollars toward the budget,” Mosley said. “There aren’t a lot of million-dollar homes built but one $44 million jet goes a long way.”
The commissioners unanimously approved the moving of the funds for the repairs.