The Walnut Ridge Airport Commission voted to increase lease prices on hangars and huts at its meeting on Oct. 25.

Airport Manager Stacy Hoggard reported that new leases would be sent out soon and the airport is at capacity in the regular and community hangars with a waiting list of 10 to 12 at any given time.

She also noted that hangar rent had not been increased in at least six years and it had been even longer since there was a rent increase on huts.

Due to rising costs in electricity, airport maintenance and the need for additional hangars, Hoggard asked that the hangars and huts be increased as follows: the older tri-sliding door hangars would go from $72 per month to $100 per month, the bi-sliding door hangars would go from $150 per month to $200 per month, the bi-fold doors would go from $200 per month to $250 per month and the huts would go from $160 per month to $180 per month.

The commissioners voted to institute those changes.

Also during the meeting, commissioners heard from Moin Kazi, who is interested in rebuilding the airport restaurant.

He expressed an interest in seeking sponsorships from different businesses and industries to help fund the construction, with all proceeds being deposited in a special checking account.

Commissioners voted to allow Kazi to try to obtain sponsors and also talk with the airport’s FAA consultant Bob Johnson on FAA guidelines.

The commission also voted to extend a one-year lease agreement on the Lear Hangar to Kazi, along with associates Ben Kisling, Eric Burch, Will Floyd, Hamon Patel and Ricardo Marino.

The rent would be $24,000 annually as long as its ole purpose is as a hangar. In the event that an aviation business was to be started in the hangar, the rent would increase to $36,000.

If the lease is not signed, it will remain a community hangar.

In other business:

The commission voted to reapply for the Historical Grant to restore the Old Military Hangar and to have Clements and Associates help with the application. The airport applied for the grant last year, and was not selected, but was encouraged to reapply.

Chairman Don Cavenaugh reported that the commissioners will be looking at the 2022 budget at the November meeting.

Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the airport and the Arkansas Air Coordination Group. The MOU goes along with the Homeland Security FEMA Region 6 emergency relief airport program that was approved last month.

Hoggard reported that she had received a letter from Custom Pavement stating that striping of 18/36 and the front parking lot would be completed in the spring when weather permits.

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