Tyler Lawson, manager, is reluctant to speculate whether or not the lease for Atlanta Skydive will be placed on the March meeting agenda of the Polk County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners voted not to renew the 12-year lease with Atlanta Skydive at their January meeting. The lease expires on April 7.
Chairman Marshelle Thaxton, Polk County Board of Commissioners, said in a previous interview the January vote not to renew the lease was unanimous.
“Whether or not the board will reconsider is up to each commissioner,” he said.
“It may or not be put back on the agenda.”
Thaxton pointed out that the skydivers could still continue their operation even if the lease is not renewed. “We are concerned about the fact that a private business has a building on county property,” he said.
Lawson was keynote speaker at a meeting hosted by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce Thursday night in the Rockmart Depot.
The crowd enthusiastically greeted him as they gathered for the Chamber’s After Hours session.
Chairman Bryan Griffin welcomed and introduced Lawson, who gave a short speech about Accelerated Free Fall and Tandem Skydiving.
Spicing his comments with information about skydiving as a sport, he brought warmth and laughter from those attending.
He said the free fall is perfect for those who would like to continue with the sport while tandem driving is great for a newcomer’s first jump experience.
Following a short film about skydiving, he was asked a number of questions about what the future holds for the skydivers in Polk.
“I don’t want to get into a discussion about speculation on a decision,” he said. “It is my hope the Polk County Board of Commissioners will decide in our favor.”
When asked about the economic impact of Atlanta Skydive, Lawson estimated the total to be about $1.5 million per year. In addition, he said it also provides jobs for five employees and 26 sub-contractors, which totals about one-half million.
Several people encouraged him not to leave Polk and suggested showing support for the operation in other ways.
“We need all the money and business in this county we can get,” was a comment often heard during the discussion.
Among those making comments about supporting the countywide organization were Rockmart Mayor Curtis Lewis, Rockmart Councilman Ray Carter, Ken Suffridge, Bill Byrne and others.
President Eric Mc-Donald, Polk County Chamber, reminded the group that they could call their county commissioners to voice an opinion.