The company that helps operate the Lawrence Municipal Airport wants the city to build a new hangar and underground fuel tank to the tune of $400,000, which the company would pay off over 25 years.
A new hangar would satisfy the growing demand for airplane storage space, said Lloyd Hetrick, vice president of Hetrick Aircraft Inc., which proposed the airport additions.
"We haven't been able to bring new planes in the field because we don't have any space," Hetrick said. "When you make an investment like a plane, you want some shelter."
Hetrick Aircraft also proposed that the city replace the airport's "fuel farm," a collection of underground fuel tanks, with a new facility closer to the site of the proposed hangar.
"One of these days the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is going to tell them to improve the one we have now anyway," Hetrick said. "And where it is now is really inconvenient."
CITY STAFF is evaluating the numbers involved in the project, said Rod Bremby, assistant city manager. After reviewing the proposal, staff will forward it to the Lawrence City Commission.
If the project eventually is approved, the city would issue 10-year general obligation bonds to pay for the $400,000 project, Bremby said. Factoring in interest for the bonds, the project would run about $576,000, he said.
In effect, issuing bonds means getting a loan. Banks or underwriters buy the 10-year-bonds, and the city pays them back with interest.
The city's Aviation Advisory Board supports the proposal with the condition that Hetrick pays the city back, Bremby said.
Hetrick Aircraft would lease the airport hangar from the city, making payments over 25 years to eventually pay off $452,000 of the cost, Bremby said.
In addition, Hetrick Aircraft would raise the fee it charges plane owners for a gallon of gasoline from two to four cents. The fee is passed on to the city.
THE FEE increase would account for an additional $60,000 over 25 years, bringing Hetrick Aircraft's contribution to about $512,000, Bremby said. The city would pick up the balance, he said.
Hetrick Aircraft helps operate the airport for the city and provides pilots with basic services, such as maintenance, fueling and inspections, for a charge. It also manages the city's only community hangar at the airport.
Measuring about 110 feet by 120 feet, the proposed hangar would hold 10 to 15 aircraft, Hetrick said. It would run about $296,000, according to estimates.
A new fuel farm would cost about $95,000, Hetrick said.
Hetrick said he had a 30-name waiting list for hangar space, and realistically could expect eight or nine planes to move in soon after a new hangar was built.
"THERE IS no more hangar space near Kansas City. I've got half a dozen names from Kansas City area who can't find space. I think they would be glad to come to Lawrence," Hetrick said.
Hetrick said that the added aircraft in a new hangar would generate another $5,200 a year in property taxes for the city.
Bremby said he was not aware of a timeline for getting the proposal to the commission. City Manager Mike Wildgen said Monday that the proposal was not a "high priority."