Date:  Thursday March 11, 2021 (03/11/21)

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Thursday, March 11, 2021
Airport Administration Building
8807 Airport Boulevard
Leesburg, Florida  
  1. Call to Order
    • Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
  1. Approval of Minutes – February 11, 2021 
  1. Ground Lease Agreements –
    • Bill Bryan Kia
    • Bill Bryan Subaru
  1. Skybolt Lease Agreement 
  1. Project Update
    • Runway 13/31 Rehab
    • US Customs & Border Protection Office Interior Remodel
    • Air Traffic Control Tower Equipment Upgrade
    • Main Ramp Resurfacing
  1. Airport Manager Update
    • City Commission update
  1. New Business 
  1. Adjournment


Airport Advisory Board Minutes
March 11, 2021 5:30pm
Airport Administration Building
8807 Airport Boulevard
Leesburg, Florida


Attendance:         Tweet Coleman 
                                    Alan Reisman 
                                    Bo Wroten 

Call to Order

Chairman Alan Reisman called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.

Bo Wroten gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of Minutes from February 11, 2021

Bo Wroten made a motion to accept the minutes from the February 11, 2021 meeting as written.  Tweet Coleman seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Ground Lease Agreements – Bill Bryan Kia and Bill Bryan Subaru

Airport Manager (AM) Tracey Dean said these leases have been pretty informal.  The purpose of the new leases is to make the agreements more standard with specific terms.  They are very similar to other ground leases. 

She said the parcel used by the Kia dealer was assessed by the property appraiser and the City received a tax bill for it this year.  She asked the dealer if they wanted to continue to lease the site and, if so, advised a new lease would need to be written and they would be responsible for the taxes.  They agreed to also issue a new lease for the parcel used by the Subaru dealer.

The Subaru site remains at the rate of their previous agreement, which is $.15 per square foot.  The Kia site was at about $.10 per square so that one was raised to $.15.  That is the same rate as the Jenkins lease.

Chairman Reisman asked what the standard rate is for other ground leases.  AM Dean said it is about $.16.  Some are higher due to CPI increases.  They have varying conditions for rate increases.  Chairman Reisman asked why these were written at $.15.  AM Dean said she used $.15 because it is the same rate charged to Jenkins.  Also, the out-clause is only 60 days.

Chairman Reisman asked if the use is strictly for storage.  AM Deans said it is for inventory overflow.  Chairman Reisman said he has seen advertising on the locations and wonders if the rate should be higher if they are doing that.  AM Dean said she did not believe it should be.

Bo Wroten made a motion to approve both lease agreements.  Tweet Coleman seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Skybolt Aeromotive Corporation Lease Agreement

AM Dean said the previous lease with Skybolt had an initial twenty-year term that expired on January 31, 2021.  The lease included two five-year renewal options.  However, Ned and Debra Bowers chose to negotiate a new long-term agreement.  They have been in discussions for some time before reaching the agreement that is before the Board today.

AM Dean said the new lease has a twenty-year term and includes two payments – one for the structure and one for the land.  They are prepaying $500,000.00 for the twenty-year building lease.  The land will be leased at a rate of $.16 per sq/ft, subject to increases every other year based on the greater of 2% or CPI.  The lease also includes two five-year renewal options.

Chairman Reisman asked if the language in Section 40A is normally in the lease agreements.  AM Dean said she drafted it for this specific agreement.  Skybolt would like to expand.  The one-acre parcel across from them is the obvious choice.  However, that site is shovel ready and the City could possibly want to keep it for our upcoming projects.  She did not see the harm in allowing Skybolt to give a competitive proposal should someone else show interest in it.  That would not be allowed if the City chooses to use it for their own project.

Chairman Reisman noted that Skybolt is a very cool company.  Some of their products are actually in space.  They work with Boeing and SpaceX.  It is impressive to have them at the airport. 

Tweet Coleman asked why they decided to locate here.  Ned Bowers explained that former airport manager Charlie Weller knew they were wanting to expand.  At that time they were located in Apopka.  They tried to get grant funding to allow them to expand there and were not successful.  Charlie Weller reached out and asked them what they needed and then worked with them to get funding through a jobs grant.  After 9-11 happened, they basically had to reinvent themselves.  As of January 2nd, they have set a lot of records and are very excited about where they’re heading.  Leesburg has been an awesome welcome mat for them for the past twenty years.  This transaction shows that Leesburg still wants good, sound businesses and clean manufacturing.

Bo Wroten made a motion to accept the lease as written.  Tweet Coleman seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Chairman Reisman noted that this lease will be presented to the City Commission on March 22nd.

Project Update

RW 13/31 Rehab:  Wilbur Mathurin from Hoyle Tanner said the project is in the home stretch.  They are about one month away form being finished.  The contractor is currently grooving the runway.  The intersection is done.  There are about 2,200 liner feet to go.  Next week they will apply the conditioner and seal the asphalt.  It will then take 30 days to cure.  That will put them into mid-April.  The last step will be to stripe. 

Chairman Reisman asked if the runway headings will change.  AM Dean said only 3/21 will change.  It will become 4/22.  However, the FAA won’t publish the new numbers until January.  Since the FAA does not like for the numbers to change more than two months before they are published, the contractor will come back to the airport in November/December to paint the new numbers and correct related signage.

US Customs and Border Protection Interior Remodel:  Jack Thompson from GAI Consultants said the Notice to Proceed will be issued on March 22nd.  The project is scheduled to take 90 days.  The mobile unit for the Customs officer is in place.  He will officially move in on March 15th.  The City will be salvaging some of the items out of the building before demo begins

Tweet Coleman said during an orientation tour of the airport facilities that Chairman Reisman took her and Mr. Griffin on recently, she asked the Customs officer if there will be bullet proof windows in the building.  He advised that only the glass in the front of the building will be bullet proof.  She asked why all the glass is not bullet proof.  Jack Thompson said the US Customs 2018 standards for general aviation airports only require bullet proof glass on the public sides of the building.  The airside is not considered public.  He noted that the walls in the vestibule are also bullet proof. 

Ned Bowers asked when Customs will be back operational.  Chairman Reisman said they are operational now.

Chairman Reisman asked if the mobile trailer was made specifically for Customs.  AM Dean said it was not.  She noted Customs did have some requirements such as mesh on the windows, security bars on doors, two offices and a common area.  She just shopped around for a trailer that had those items.

Air Traffic Control Tower Equipment:  AM Dean said they are one step away from being finished with this project.  The new equipment that has been installed is as follows:  1) new transceiver radio for emergencies that replaces the old handheld unit; 2) new recorder to record all communications; and 3) ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service).  The last step requires one more visit from RVA staff and personnel from the National Weather Service to put the ATIS into service.  That is scheduled for March 22nd.  She noted there may also be some training for the controllers that needs to be done. 

Main Ramp Resurfacing:  Jack Thompson from GAI Consultants said they have had a couple of consultations with tenants to review the phasing plan to ensure everyone knows how they will be impacted.  The next step is to finish the final design.  They will time the process of going out to bid so the project will start as the US Customs project finishes up.  Part of Phase 1 includes the area where the temporary Customs trailer is sitting so they don’t want to start the ramp project until the trailer is no longer needed and can be removed.   They anticipate the bid going out in June/July. 

Chairman Reisman asked if it was pushed out a month.  AM Dean said they don’t want to have this and the Customs project overlap.  They allowed some extra time in case the Customs project runs over. Jack Thompson noted that because FDOT’s fiscal year runs from July to June, they will not write new grants in June.  They plan to be ready to submit the grant application to FDOT in July.

Airport Manager Update

AM Dean said Orlando Financial trimmed the tree that was questioned at the last meeting. 

She noted that Chairman Reisman asked for an item about City Commission discussions to be added to the airport agendas.  She asked for clarification from him as to his expectations for that.  Chairman Reisman said some things go to the Commission that don’t come before this Board.  Sometimes they are minor things that affect airport property and this Board may want to know about.  He cited the lift station upgrade as an example.

New Business

Chairman Reisman asked if rent is paid to the airport for the lift station or wells that are on site.  He read an article about an airport in Texas that had oil wells on it and the City ended up paying the airport a lot of money for the revenue they made from wells.  Tim Shea from AvCon and Jack Thompson from GAI both said that would not be the same as a lift station or water wells because oil is a commodity.  Chairman Reisman said he thinks there should be rent for a ground lease paid to the airport for these sites since they serve an area larger than the airport.  AM Dean said that decision is not up to her.  Chairman Reisman encouraged the Board members to contact their commissioners if they feel there should be ground rent paid, possibly even back payments. 


Bo Wroten made a motion to adjourn.  The motion was seconded by Tweet Coleman and the meeting adjourned at 6:00pm.

Alan Reisman                         

Pam Hester