One of my first lessons in office was that I had to get “really educated really fast” on a lot of different things. When I was officially elected and before my term even began I picked up several books, manuals, and on-line resources to study the many issues required to be the Mayor of Jamestown. I studied “Robert’s Rule’s of Order” so that I could know exactly the proper way to conduct a meeting. I poured myself into our City Charter and Municipal Code. I called on people to help educate me about the way the utility departments not only operate, but the difficult mechanics involved in their function. I quickly began and continue to learn about the legalities of being an employer, and how to best protect our business interests. I developed stronger relationships with our local banks so that we could ensure the city operated with the best financial practices. Among these many things, I also learned that I had to get educated about the field of Aviation and what it takes to manage and run an airport. It is sometimes overwhelming but always beneficial. One of the things I wanted to share with you this week is about what I learned and what we were able to creatively put together to help our airport.
The Jamestown Municipal Airport is one of 58 General Aviation airports in the state of Tennessee. General Aviation is a term that basically applies to non-commercial private flying where the flights are not officially scheduled flights. Having this airport in our community provides several benefits. It gives us a competitive advantage to draw new industry into our area, it provides job opportunities for our local citizens, it can be an educational resource with flight lessons, it can provide the city revenue through gas sales and visitors spending money in our area, and it can help to increase tourism by helping to make us easier to access. These benefits made me realize, early in my administration, the importance of maintaining and improving our airport.
While the field of aviation is a highly regulated industry, it also is a generous field where we have ready access to valuable grant programs. These grant programs offer us non-taxable free money to spend on our local airport. Immediately upon taking office, I began to search out opportunities to secure the maintenance and growth of the airport such as this. One of the first things we were able to accomplish was securing the purchase of an airplane for the airport. The city made the purchase for $20,000, with the plane’s estimated worth at $30,000. Purchasing the plane has given us the ability to offer our citizens access to local flight lessons, it also attracts other people outside of our community to utilize our plane for its convenience. The plane produces revenue, as the rental cost is $100.00 per hour with fuel. If someone is purchasing fuel the cost is $75.00 per hour. Overnight and extended rental is provided at a negotiated rate based on distance and time needed. Just this month alone Crossville airport, in need of a backup plane, turned to Jamestown. We were able to accommodate them for $1,250.00. Consistently this plane has been rented out weekly and has played a significant impact as the first step in renewing and revitalizing our airport. We will be keeping you posted for new improvements and upgrades coming to the Jamestown Municipal Airport in the near future.
In the mean time, if you have any questions or would like to learn more give us a call at City Hall at 931-879-8815 or message us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CityofJamestown.