The Smithville Aldermen Monday night established monthly rental fees for five tenants of the existing T-hangars at the airport and set the fees for the lease of the other four original T-hangars now vacant and the nine new ones under construction.
Ten years ago, the city entered into the original agreement with a group of aircraft owners, under which they would put up their own funds to build nine T-hangars at the airport and the city would not assess them a rental fee for ten years. That agreement ended December 31st. Five of the original tenants are still using the facilities. The other four T-hangars are now vacant.
At the last meeting on December 21st, the aldermen, at the request of Airport Board Chairman Roth Terrell, voted to extend the leases of the five T-hangar tenants by five years, and to give them a five year renewal option, rent free. In addition, the aldermen voted, at Terrell's request, to set the monthly rental fees for eight of the new individual T-hangars at $115 per month and at $225 per month for a larger one being built, which could house a corporate sized aircraft. The aldermen further voted to make those new fees apply to the four original T-hangars that currently remain vacant.
Since then the aldermen apparently have had a change of heart and decided that the original tenants should begin paying rent, now that their ten year rent-free leases have expired, so during Monday night's meeting (January 4th) they rescinded the action taken two week ago.
Alderman Steve White suggested that the tenants be assessed the new fees of $115 per month. Alderman W.J. "Dub" White indicated that maybe their rent should be $100 per month, a slight concession from the new rates.
Alderman Aaron Meeks said he felt the city should give the original five tenants a little more consideration and made a motion that their monthly fees be seventy five dollars per month for the next five years and that the city renegotiate the terms of the contract at the end of the five year period. "In our workshop, there was discussion that these gentlemen have made several improvements to the properties. They had put up cash with the city a year in advance of getting the hangars built. The hangars have certainly added value to the airport and probably have allowed the airport to grow. That might not have happened had these hangars not been there. So I feel like we should perhaps give some consideration to that as far as setting the rates for these five hangars."
Alderman Shawn Jacobs seconded Meeks motion and Aldermen Steve White, W.J. "Dub" White, and Cecil Burger all voted in favor.
The aldermen also voted that anyone who rents any of the other T-hangars will be subject to a one year lease with a four year renewal option, and will have to pay the higher fees, $115 for an individual T-hangar or $225 for the larger ones. The terms would be subject to renegotiation after five years.
In other business, Mayor Taft Hendrixson appointed Alderman Shawn Jacobs as the city's representative on the Airport Board. Others on the board include Chairman Roth Terrell and John Daniel, both citizen members. Mayor Hendrixson says there are two other citizen member appointments to make to the airport board, but he does not yet have anyone to recommend.
Mayor Hendrixson also informed that alderman that bids on the water plant rehab project will be opened on Tuesday, January 26th.