Airport operations up for discussion again in Paxton

Airport operations up for discussion again in Paxton

PAXTON — The city council is once again talking to sky-diving school operator Jef LeRette about becoming the city-owned airport's fixed base operator. More than two years ago the council nixed LeRette's proposal.

This past summer, LeRette ran his sky-diving operation out of a privately owned hangar building at the airport. No aldermen attending the airport committee meeting Monday complained about LeRette's activities there.

LeRette did not present a formal business plan, but instead gave an outline of what he is willing to do as FBO and what city responsibilities would be. The aldermen directed the city attorney to write up a formal agreement that could be discussed at the regular February council meeting. They could vote on it then or later.

LeRette would like to use the city-owned hangar for free. He said he would at his own cost remodel the bathrooms and office there. He also would take care of all summer and winter maintenance at the airport, and provide an employee on site for fuel sales April-November and would have one on call the rest of the year.

He said he wants to take over fuel sales, including selecting his own vendor and keeping any profit. He also wants the lease payments from the hangar owners that go to the city.

But LeRette wants to be protected from a huge property expense. He gave the example of the $160,000 hangar door failing.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on January 29, 2014 at 7:01 am

Hope that he is successful, and thousands of people from Chicago flock to Paxton.  Gay sky diving marriages could become a rage.  Other businesses would benefit from it like restaurants, and B&Bs.