Council Addresses Airport Project Concerns

City of Sylvester held their regular monthly meeting last Monday evening by opening the meeting with a moment of silence to honor attorney Clarence Miller. Mayor Yearta expressed his condolences to Miller’s family on behalf of the city council and stated that Attorney Miller had given a lot to his county over the years and would be sorely missed.
Nader Bagheri was present to voice concerns regarding the Sylvester Airport Project, which was initially intended to extend the runway to 5,000 feet. Bagheri provided an estimated cost to the city for resolving a problem with wetlands. Mayor Yearta argued neither the City of Sylvester nor its citizens should be responsible for paying any extra money. “It was your error or the company’s error and I expect your people to take care of their mistake,” stated Mayor Yearta. According to Yearta, Bagheri’s company had a study conducted which revealed wetlands on the north end of the property. However, another contractor’s engineer revealed additional wetlands were not found by Bagheri. The project can still be completed after some delay, but a substantial cost is now involved in correcting the problem. Yearta says the majority of costs are being recouped by grants, but that the city intends to be good stewards of those monies, and feels the costly mistake is Bagheri’s.
Bagheri was also questioned about a power line on the right-of-way of Highway 82 and whether it would create a problem. He assured the council it would not. However, he did state there is an issue with a power line on the property itself, but that he would provide more details at a later date.
Also discussed at the meeting, Council Member Randy Hill asked Barbara Amanda West to explain to the council about an after-school project she wants to start in August. West received a $100,000 grant to serve the students of Worth County. As the Executive Director of the program, she is requesting a place to house the program which will be for primary, elementary and middle school students. It will focus on CRCT preparation in Science and Math, Technology and Foreign Language. The program would be held from 3 until 6 p.m. and will offer a snack and dinner. West hopes the program will be all day during the summer. West announced she had been working with some area colleges to provide student volunteers for the program. The council will discuss it further at the next workshop.
The next city council meeting will be held Mar. 3 at 7 p.m.