Commissioner Joe Jackson said he had pushed the move for years, but Tuesday, the Augusta Commission unanimously approved authorizing City Administrator Fred Russell to develop a plan with the Georgia Department of Public Safety to construct the hangar and pad using local sales-tax dollars.
Jackson, who chairs the commission’s Public Safety Committee, said the state patrol aircraft is outgrowing the aging space in Thomson, and the move will benefit the city through its proximity and the sale of jet fuel at the airport.
“We have a lot of sales tax money left over,” Jackson said. “Let’s use it for positive things.”
The helicopter, which is piloted by Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Herbert Cravens, will move permanently to Augusta although it serves a 13-county region. It is often requested for use by agencies for tracking missing persons and aerial surveillance of large crime, wreck or disaster scenes, Jackson said.
The Georgia State Patrol post that had been located in Thomson recently moved into a new facility in Grovetown.
Jackson said he expected the project to cost approximately $600,000.