The Saratoga Sun -

Airport to issue new leases

No changes made to lease terms


“We can finally put this to bed,” Saratoga Airport Board member Richard Raymer said at the committee’s April 14 meeting. Raymer was referring to proposed changes to the lease agreement hangar owners must sign if they wish to use a hangar at the facility.

David Erickson, an attorney representing Saratoga, had looked over the proposed changes in the lease and found them unnecessary. Erickson recommended that the town move forward with issuing new leases without making any of the proposed alterations.

Andy Van Tol and several other hangar owners had been instrumental in pushing for changes to the document. In particular, Van Tol wanted to change section 25 of the lease, which indemnifies the town from damages to property that arise from using the facilities. Van Tol contended that the lease should only indemnify the town from damages arising from negligence on the part of the hangar owner.

Erickson was not of the same mind. Raymer said the lawyer had asked “if this board is going to be dictated by our lessees, then what is the point of this board?”

“We don’t need to take any action (on the changes) because it’s already been approved (by the town council)” Raymer concluded. Fellow airport board member Lance Grubb agreed: “As representatives of the town and the airport, you know, it’s our obligation to support (Erickson’s) recommendation,” he said.

Once hangar owners have had their inspections, Raymer promised “we can get leases to everybody.” The issue of new leases was delayed while the board and town decided whether or not to go forward with changes in the existing agreement.

In other business, the airport board thanked Saratoga High School Senior Milo Hunter, who completed a pair of new signs for the facility as part of his Eagle Scout project. Lance Grubb promised to donate $100 to the 18 year old, who spent $452 to complete the signs. The Town of Saratoga will be compensating Hunter for the remainder of his expenditures.

Good progress was reported by Brek Ibach, who was representing Sage Civil Engineering at the meeting. The firm is in charge of the hangar extension and taxi-lane rehabilitation project at Shively Field, and Ibach reported that 95% of the asphalt to be torn up had been milled and hauled.

Richard Raymer said that testing on whether or not the old terminal building contains asbestos should be completed in the next month. The condemned building is set to be destroyed over the summer, and if asbestos is discovered inside, it will add significantly to the price of demolition.

In a carry-over from the last meeting, Grubb said that he had priced out the cost of adding three cameras to the airport. They would cost between $2,500 and $4,500 depending on the quality of the equipment, he said. Earlier, the board had set aside $3,000 for this purpose. The cameras could prove useful in the case of an accident, and could also be monitored remotely over the internet by pilots wishing to look at conditions on the runway in real-time.

Looking down the line, airport manager Kim Lorenzen told the airport board that the ceilometer may become an expensive problem. The device is used to measure cloud height, and though there are no issues with the device currently, if it breaks down it will have to be replaced instead of repaired because the device has been deemed obsolete due to new FAA standards. Lorenzen said the instrument costs about $25,000, and that the state is looking at starting a program to help small airports defray those expenses.

The next meeting of the Shively Field Airport Board will be held at 5 p.m. May 12 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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