Hangar hash

Airport board rehashes hangar lease wording, discusses cameras and lighting


An approaching winter storm likely kept several regular attendees at home during the monthly meeting of the Saratoga Airport Board Dec. 13. About five members of the public did turn out, however, and unlike November’s meeting, the board achieved a quorum.

Animating much of the day’s discussion was a rehash of an old issue: revisions to the lease terms for hangar owners at the airport that went into effect in the early part of 2016. When the new terms were adopted, several hangar owners objected to language in section 11 of the lease, but, on advice from the town attorney, the airport board moved forward with the new wording.

Dave Worthington, who currently shares a hangar at the airport with Randy Boykin, was one of those who objected to item 11. The language of section 11, Worthington feared, could allow town officials to confiscate structures or other property belonging to a hangar owner who did not renew his or her lease. The clause appears intended to address property that has been abandoned and become a nuisance, but Worthington said he thought the wording was loose enough to allow for future misuse by an ill-intentioned town official.

At the meeting, Worthington asked for the board’s blessing to sell his half of the hangar to Boykin. Boykin said he preferred to keep the old lease terms, that currently govern the pair’s shared lease. The board agreed to allow the ownership change, but was split on whether Boykin could keep the old lease terms after the transfer of possession.

Airport board member Bobby Chitwood said he understood Boykin and Worthington’s anxiety that, “If somebody wanted to do the wrong thing then they could.” He said the lease language was up to the town though, and the new version had already been adopted.

Airport board member and town council member Richard Raymer tried to allay the pair’s unease, saying, “I can speak for this council and say the Town has no interest in becoming hangar owners.”

In Raymer’s view, though, transferring the lease from one shared by Boykin and Worthington to one owned by Boykin alone would necessitate Boykin adopting the new language.

Airport board chair Jennifer Johnson disagreed. She said, in her opinion, since one of the original lessees remained on the lease, Boykin could keep the old language until the lease terms expire years down the road.

The board agreed to consult the town attorney to get a legal opinion on the matter. The lease will transfer ownership to Boykin alone at the stroke of midnight, Dec. 31, 2016.

At a Dec. 20 Saratoga Town Council meeting, Johnson indicated she shared hangar owners’ concerns over section 11 of the new agreement and would like to revisit its phrasing. Saratoga Mayor Ed Glode told her David Erickson, the town attorney, would attend the next airport board meeting to answer questions and address any complaints over the revised lease.

Dave Shultz, of Sage Civil Engineering, also had a report for the board concerning the planned installation of security cameras and lighting. Shultz said federal grant funding seems to have been approved for the lights and cameras and that he, the board and the Wyoming Department of Transportation should schedule a working-session to determine where the new equipment should go. The project is tentatively scheduled for spring.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Airport Board will be held 1 p.m. Jan. 11, 2017, in the Saratoga Town Hall.


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