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Airport Authority OKs lease for hangar

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The newly appointed Covington Municipal Airport Authority approved a lease agreement with Standridge Color Corporation for a 5-acre tract of land at a called meeting Friday morning.

Standridge plans to build an 18,000-square-foot hangar and a 20,000-square-foot tarmac to the east of its existing hangar and the terminal building. Henry Stowe of Standridge said the company wants to house a corporate jet in the hangar and has a deadline of April 1, when the plane will be delivered.

The Covington City Council is expected to approve the transfer of property to the authority at its Monday meeting. The lease is 20 years with three five-year optional extensions. Rent is $720 per month for the first 10 years, increasing to $742 after that for five years and then to $764 for the remaining five years.

Authority attorney Frank Turner Jr. said Standridge is "leasing the dirt" and will build the hangar, tarmac and access road to the tarmac at its own expense. The lease limits use of the property to non-commercial users.

If Standridge vacates the property, it must give the authority first rights to buy, and if the authority chooses not to, it can assign the lease to another tenant. The authority also approved an easement to allow access to the tarmac.

For now, the tract where Standridge will locate its hangar is the only property the authority will own. The city will retain the rest of the property, but eventually is expected to turn over the entire airport to authority. The city is advancing funds to pay for initial legal fees and insurance costs encumbered by the authority, which will later be reimbursed, according to Chairman John Howard. Other authority members are Wayne Digby, vice chair; Tareta Johnson, secretary/treasurer; James Knight; Charles Hill Morris Jr.; Jared Rutberg; and Art Schlueter. The authority will meet at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the airport.