Originally created 09/25/98

Wetlands may gain approval

After meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday, city officials said they and the agency may finally be on the same page.

Officials from both sides met Thursday in Atlanta to discuss a new proposal for Augusta's constructed wetlands project.

The project, designed to alleviate the amount of wastewater dumped into the Savannah River, is being developed next to Bush Field airport.

While Bush Field officials were concerned the constructed wetlands would restrict airport growth, the FAA worried that it would lead to an increase in bird population that would in turn, pose a danger to airplanes.

About a year ago the FAA stated if air safety problems developed, it wouldn't allow commercial flights into the airport, which could essentially shut Bush Field down. The agency also threatened to take back nearly $1 million in federal grant money to the airport.

"After today we feel like the city is offering to do some very positive things," said Scott Seritt, manager of the Airport District Office in Atlanta, who met with Mayor Larry Sconyers, City Administrator Randy Oliver, Bush Field Manager Al McDill and Ed Skinner, chairman of the airport commission.

Both sides said it was a very positive meeting.

"There won't be any holdups with the grant money," said Mr. Oliver. "They said they will let us know something within the next couple weeks, which gives us ample opportunity to commence construction by January."

City officials presented the FAA with a proposal to redesign the $10 million constructed wetlands project. The redesign will move the location of some of


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