Business | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Turbulent Times Between City and State in Delta Airline Agreement

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

The state of Florida may soon have a lawsuit on its hands if they don't pay up money they owe the city of Tallahassee.

City attorney Jim English says in April 2008, the city, Leon county and state, agreed to add direct flights from Tallahassee to and from Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando through Delta Airlines.

But, the state has yet to pay its portion of the check, leaving the city to pick up the $312,000.

City Attorney Jim English says "The Governor's Office has bought on paying their share so we've been dealing with them since then and I'm confident that they will pay the money that the state owes but they have not as of yet."

We got our hands on an email sent from Mayor John Mark's office to the State in February 2009 that reads in part, "The expectation is that each entity will proportionately pay their portion of the guarantee."

On the same day, Shane Strum from the Governor's Office replied to that email saying "Thanks for the update ... We are good to go."

City Attorney Jim English says through the contract, Delta Airlines discontinued their services in September 2009, all because some flights only had one passenger on board.

English says, "Some of the flights worked out better than others, but that Tampa flight didn't. It was just not enough passengers to make that one."

But for some travelers, the direct flights to cities in South Florida are necessary.

Passenger Michael Dulin says, "I think you can see more business coming to Tallahassee if it's more business coming in and out of the city."

City Attorney Jim English says the city will be having an in house meeting this week to try and avoid filing the lawsuit against the state. They're hoping they can work something out to get the money back somehow.


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