“We’ve already started planning for next year,” said Noah Simon, assistant Floyd County manager.
He said the county had signed a multi-year contract with the show organizers. Simon and his boss, County Manager Blaine Williams, told members of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce transportation committee that organizers of the show were very pleased with the turnout given threatening weather conditions were present much of the weekend.
“I think they were shooting for 50,000,” Williams said, indicating that the estimated crowd of 35,000 was considered good by the organizers.
Williams also stressed that a lot of different agencies within the local government played key roles in making the event a success.
“Our Public Works did a lot of behind-the-scenes work in addition to the great job JLC (AirShow Management) did,” Williams said.
Also, the committee took another opportunity to review its legislative priority list, which continues to include the U.S. 411 connector to Interstate 75 as the No. 1 priority.
The Rollins family, owners of Cartersville Ranch LLC, has virtually single-handedly blocked the project for nearly three decades. The preferred route for the project, dubbed D‑VE, would essentially bisect the Rollins property.
Expedited widening of Ga. 140 from Ga. 53 to I-75 is No. 2 on the chamber list. Even County Manager Williams was not certain when that project is slated for funding from the DOT.
Bob Moss, an engineer with Williams, Sweitzer and Barnum, said his firm had completed preliminary engineering plans for relocation of water lines along Ga. 140.
“Normally we don’t do that too much in front,” Moss said.
The state has initiated right-of-way acquisition and has already staked out some of the proposed right of way for the expansion, which is at least two years away from funding, if not longer.