Lease for 911 center back on City Commission agenda this week

The final public hearing and vote on the proposed 30-year lease for the city’s 911 center is scheduled for Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.

The city, after assurances from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration that jobs would come, built an Automated Flight Services Station in the 1980s. The city received some federal funds for land acquisition and construction of the facility.

City negotiating lease for 911 center with airport after discovering ownership issues

But the jobs never materialized and the building sat vacant for many years before the city moved the 911 dispatch center into the facility, believing that the city owned the property.

Fast forward to 2016, when it was discovered that the property was still on airport maps and still feel under the original 1980s era FAA grant requirements.

Commission to consider lease with GF airport to maintain 911 center operations

It all boils down to the fact that the airport authority owns the property and cannot say with good faith that the facility will never be needed in the future for airport operations. If the airport didn’t need it, the FAA would likely require the city to purchase the property at current market value.

So city and airport officials determined that the best option was for the city to lease the property from the airport to protect the city’s significant investment in the 911 center.

The proposed lease has been signed by the airport director. The initial term of the proposed agreement is 30 years, with two additional five-year renewal options.

The rental amount for the first 30 years is $104,400, which will be paid through the city’s construction costs of a new roadway near the 911 center.

The lease may only be terminated for default within during the first five years and, thereafter, by 48 month’s written notice by either party.  If airport terminates the lease, it retains all site improvements and shall pay the city $2 million if the termination occurs within the first 15 years of the least, or $1 million in the second half of the lease, plus any unamortized portion remaining for the verified costs of the road construction.