Poitevint offers to help pay for hangar renovation

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A local businessman has offered to pay Decatur County’s portion of the cost to renovate a World War II-ear airplane hangar at the Bainbridge-Decatur County Airport.

Alec Poitevint, the chairman and president of Bainbridge-based Southeastern Minerals, offered to fund the $10,000 to $11,000, or about 3.75-percent of the total project cost. This amount would have been the county’s match to receive grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation.

In his offer to fund that portion of the project, Poitevint asked that the location of the hangar, in the Industrial Park, be recognized as Lynn, Ga.

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During the Decatur County Board of Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday night, Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Moseley shared an email sent to him by Poitevint that shared some of the history of that location.

Poitevint’s great-grandfather, William Belk Lynn, opened a railroad station around 1890 when the Georgia Pine Railroad built the first six miles of track in that area.

The station would become known as Lynn Station and the area known as Lynn, Georgia. Poitevint explained that the railroad station was vital to the flexibility needed to construct the airbase, which ultimately led to the construction of the hangar that is in line to be renovated.

Poitevint also offered to fund, on behalf of the Lynn family, a historic marker detailing the history of William Belk Lynn and the history of the hangar.

County Administrator Gary Breedlove mentioned that the hangar would not only have historic value to the county, but educational value as well.

“The educational opportunity that the school system will have is tremendous,” Breedlove said. “From finding out that their neighbors or family members might have had direct contact with the airbase to learning that the place was actually named Lynn, Ga.

“Most of us tonight have learned that ourselves. It’s a great opportunity to educate some young people about the significance of our local history.”

Breedlove said that much engineering work needed to be done on the hangar before the actual renovation began. That work will begin soon.