- United States Senators and Congressmen from Georgia
- United States of America
In 1939 the City of Griffin and Spalding County bought about 200 acres for a little over $6800. On this property they built an airport and let the Kiwanis Club sponsor an annual County Agricultural Fair. Both have continued to operate on this property.
The airport has outgrown the current location and a new airport location has been selected and is in process with FAA funds.
In 1988 the city and the county did a property trade and the entire tract became city property. In 1979 a city official obligated the property to the FAA in order to receive a grant for airport improvement. Since then they have received about $3.3 million in grants. The city and the county currently share the cost of operating the airport.
Now that the new airport has been approved, the FAA mandates that the existing property be sold. A time table for the sale has not been given. The new airport will probably take 5-7 years to complete.
The Kiwanis Fairgrounds was considered part of the obligation. The Kiwanis Club of Griffin is made up of 128 members , all volunteers dedicated to community service. Over the past 71 years the Kiwanis volunteers have built an infrastructure on this property valued at over $1.5 million. The property is used continuously for community activities. The fair and our pancake day are our 2 main fundraisers. All proceeds are returned to the community.
In addition to the Kiwanis Club of Griffin activities, the property is also used by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, various Veterans groups, Lions Club, Rotary Club, 4-H Club, the Spalding County Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, a local food pantry, Relay for life, Humane Society, local farmers market, Healing Heroes, Bobby D’s bicycles for Christmas, 900 first graders come to an agricultural awareness Farm Day produced by the University of Georgia, Humbly Serving Ministries, Lineman’s Rodeo hosted by the City of Griffin, Alzheimer’s Association, Hospital Auxiliary, Spalding Teens. Young Life/Young Lives, Stepping Stones fund raisers, Salvation Army, National Guard appreciation events, Griffin and Spalding JROTC programs, Southside Rider Christmas party for kids, Abate Swap meet, Kiwanianne Club fund raisers, 4H equestrian drill team and dog show groups, Student vision/glasses program, Cattleman’s Association, Kiwanis Kids League, Star Teacher/Star Student programs, Eagle Scout recognition programs, scholarship awards programs, American Legion Boys and Girls State assistance, Empty Stocking Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Key Clubs and Builders Clubs in the local schools, as well as reunions, weddings and receptions.
The Spalding County Recreation Department has expressed an interest in partnering with Kiwanis in developing the adjacent property as well as the fairgrounds for more community recreation uses. We are adjacent to the city golf course and city park. Kiwanis built a mountain bike trail on a section of otherwise unusable property. The 4-H club has an arena for their equestrian activities on the property.
None of this property was bought with FAA money, no improvements were made with FAA money, The property has never had aeronautical use.
We have petitioned the FAA in Atlanta, all to no avail. We have long felt that our forefathers here in Griffin/Spalding County never intended the fairgrounds to be part of the airport. We also believe that this tract belongs to the citizens of Spalding County and should not be sold to become a private development. We also believe that this small piece of property has very little value to the FAA. The historic, public use of this community space should continue.
To get to the bottom line, we request your help in finding someone in Washington that might be sympathetic to our argument. We don’t ask that the FAA give the property to Kiwanis, but rather release the obligation and return ownership to Griffin/Spalding County.
We the undersigned hereby request that you petition the Federal DOT/FAA in Washington to release the “Kiwanis Fairgrounds” from the grant obligations incurred since 1979.
The Save the Kiwanis Fairgrounds petition to United States Senators and Congressmen from Georgia was written by Kiwanis Fair Association and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.