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Davidson County leaders hope $3.8 million airport investment will spark future growth

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Davidson County leaders are hopeful a $3.8 million investment at Davidson County Airport will help attract more business to the area. Commissioners will vote on the proposal to fund four hangars on the property that would be used to house corporate jets. If the measure passes, the money will be used in combination with a million-dollar investment passed last spring. The airport has eight large hangars already on the property. John Gray chairs the Davidson County Airport Authority Board and said there’s a clear need for more. “They’ve all been full for the last three years. We’re constantly being called for these needs,” he said. Companies pay a lease for the space. Gray explained there are other benefits for taxpayers. “Our aim is to pursue the mid to large-sized jets that are valued anywhere from $10 to $30 million,” he said. “Let’s say if it’s a $30 million plane…that plane’s going to generate $162,000 in tax revenue based on our current county tax rate. So if you have a few of those located there, it’s not long, and you’re up to $400,000-$500,000 in tax revenue that also ultimately takes burden off of the homeowners in the county,” Assistant County Manager Jason Martin said. Gray said it’s a strategy for companies looking to store their planes halfway between Florida and New York. “This is the area that they’re looking at,” Gray said. A new aircraft maintenance company opened at the airport last year. There’s also a new flight school. “I think that part of the county, and just in general, that part of the county is ripe for more economic development for industrial development,” Martin said, Gray hopes the hangars serve as a catalyst for even more growth. “We’ve got a project on the northern end of the airport, a new business that is here. We are having people reach out to us about other projects,” he explained. Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Feb. 14 on the proposal. If the funding is approved, the project could be completed sometime before the end of the year.

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