City Council approves property purchases for airport runway extension
Funding for purchases to come from Federal Aviation Administration
At their meeting Monday night, Spartanburg City Council unanimously approved the purchase of three properties near the Downtown Memorial Airport, 880 and 896 California Blvd. and 101 Vermont Ave needed as part of a new runway safety zone, a precursor to a planned runway extension at the airport. In a memo to Council, Assistant City Manager Chris Story said preliminary talks with the owners indicate a willingness to sell, and that property owners would be paid fair market value. The Federal Aviation Administration will reimburse the City for the cost of purchasing the properties.
Council also unanimously approved a new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system to replace the City's aging telephone system. The system will reduce the City's monthly phone service cost from $5,500 per month to $3,300 per month, and will provide greater efficiency for staff by including features such as: the ability to dial direct from desktop computers, the ability to automatically route calls to mobile devices, the immediate conversion of voicemail to text to enable better field response, and the ability to provide automated call routing to minimize unanswered citizen calls. The new system is expected to take around four months to fully implement.
Also at the meeting, Council voted 7-0 to approve the rezoning of property at 148 N. Walker St. from heavy commercial district to general business district to allow the property owner to reside there. The rezoning request was previously endorsed unanimously by the City Planning Commission.
For more on Monday's meeting, see the full video and roundup of our live tweets below.