At a joint meeting Monday, Harvey County Commissioners and Newton City Commissioners approved a lease agreement with Palomino Petroleum Inc. for a new hangar at the city/county airport.
The hangar originally was constructed as a community hangar. Bob Myers, Newton's city attorney, said Palomino expressed an interest in leasing 60 percent of the facility but later decided they could use the full hangar.
Although Palomino wanted to purchase the hangar, the city and county could not do a direct sale since the project was bond financed. The year 2020 is the earliest the bonds can be redeemed.
Palomino will start out by leasing the facility and will have an option to purchase it later, in August 2020. The lease begins today, Oct. 7.
Palomino will pay $5,825 per month in rent; utility expenses; $335 per month for casualty insurance; and $3,340 per month to be deposited by the city in an escrow account and held toward the purchase of the hangar. Final purchase price will be at least $1.29 million, or the current fair market value, if higher.
Palomino also is considering expanding at the airport in the future.
At the meeting, county commissioners also heard a third quarter financial report. Budgeted general fund revenues for 2014 were $11.1 million, with a revised estimate of $11.15 million. About $9.77 million has been collected to date. General fund expenditures were budgeted at $13.36 million for 2014, with a revised estimate of $11.64 million. About $7.86 million has been spent so far.
Commissioners discussed concerns about funding for county road maintenance and keeping up with needs. Assistant County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber recommended not delaying equipment purchases — such as a request for a new snow plow — for roads. He acknowledged it can be tough to stretch limited funds over many projects.
"Resources are limited, staff are limited," he said.
If demand becomes too great, the county may have to look at increasing road and bridge funding in the future.