Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

October 5, 2009

Souther Field to be renamed in ceremony Sunday

Done deal still leaving people up in arms

AMERICUS — Making the news as of late has been the most recent decision by the City of Americus, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners and the Americus-Sumter County Airport Authority’s adoption of a resolution to rename Souther Field Airport to the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport.

The move was not met without some controversy as reported in previous stories of this newspaper and in letters to the editor.

An official renaming/dedication ceremony for the airport has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, according to City Council member Lou Chase, who also serves on the Airport Authority.

When asked about the ceremony, Frank Joiner, chairman of the Airport Authority, said in a phone interview with the Times-Recorder, that normally such events are planned by Chase and Authority Board member Wally Summers, but done through Joiner.

Chase told the Times-Recorder that the event had been planned and was official, that she just had not been able to get with Joiner.

Charlotte Cotton, chief administrative officer for the City of Americus, when asked Monday how the naming of the airport idea came about, said, “Several years ago at a joint planning retreat of the City of Americus Mayor and Council and the Sumter County Board of Commissioners, the topic was raised that nothing in Sumter County was named in honor of Jimmy Carter, and we needed to do something.

“He is the only President of the United States from this area, and so as discussion progressed on the topic, it was suggested that the airport be named after Carter.”

She added, “Recently, at another meeting of both entities, we realized that we had not yet done anything about this, and we all felt like something needed to be done.” With former President Jimmy Carter turning 85 years of age, and a big birthday celebration having been planned, all involved felt like it would be only fitting for the renaming to be done as soon as possible.

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