Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Municipal Airport Advisory Board discussed hangar rates and sub-leasing at their May 9 meeting.
Staff recommended increases in monthly hangar lease fees for most spaces. Space that is lowest in rate now would not increase but the rest would see recommended increases, ranging from $5 to $15 per month.
The rate increases will be recommended to city council and if accepted will take effect in January 2017.
The board also reviewed the topic of the waiting list for hangar space.
It had been suggested that a fee might charged to get on the waiting list. Staff had been advised that other airports in the area were not doing this; however there was a public comment that said some do.
Staff did not recommend implementing a waiting list fee at this time.
Before revisiting the topic, board wants to see the waiting list updated and “purged” of names that have outdated contact information.
Subleasing was also discussed.
About a year ago city staff had recommended to end and no longer allow subleasing. Council did not think it was fair to end subleasing on such short notice and decided to allow it through 2016, to reconsider for 2017. This is the beginning of that reconsideration.
Brian Faust, public works director, asked, “Would the board be supportive of subleasing continuing in some form past December 31, 2016?”
Faust estimated that around 25 percent of the current space is subleased.
A man who’s been on the waiting list for years was there for public comments. He would like to see subleasing ended. His point was that spaces don’t open up for people on the waiting list because of subleasing.
Another thought was that subleasing should be allowed on a limited basis to accommodate cases where a tenant is “in between” planes.
It was decided that the topic would be discussed again at next month’s meeting.
Brad Weisenburger of PEC updated the board on property acquisition. Parties have agreed upon the price of $155,000 for the purchase of the Paulsen property.
A piece of property on the west side that was originally slated for purchase is now recommended for designation as easement. Ownership would not change but it would be agreed that the property would be a protected area for the airport.
The next meeting of the airport advisory board is scheduled for June 13.