by Sam Hieb
Earlier this week the Greensboro City Council approved $2.5 million in infrastructure and site readiness improvements at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The original vote approving the funds was 7-1—with council member Marikay Abuzuaiter as the lone ‘no’ vote— but a change was later approved stating other local governments—-namely High Point and Winston-Salem—would also have to commit before Gboro would spend the $2.5 million.
Turns out W-S officials were not slow in responding ——Winston-Salem Journal (paywall) reports city officials—namely Mayor Allen Joines and City Manager Lee Garrity– are saying they believe the City Council will not approve funding for a project that does not a direct benefit:
“We want to be regional-minded, but the return on the investment is not there,” Joines said. We could not do it with our typical tax-increment way to finance economic development. The only source we have is economic development bonds, and we have some potential uses locally.”
There’s one other issue—-Garrity added that Gboro officials told him the money would not go directly toward the airport, but to develop a “major business park near the airport to attract more aviation companies,” the Journal reports.
Gboro for the most part has given up on PTIA being a major passenger airport, but still holds out hope that the area around the airport will be a driver of economic development.