Date:  Thursday April 13, 2023 (04/13/23)

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Thursday, April 13, 2023
Airport Administration Building
8807 Airport Boulevard
Leesburg, Florida


  1. Call to Order
    • Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance  
  1. Approval of Minutes – March 9, 2023  
  1. Landlord Consent to Assignment of Lease Agreement among City of Leesburg, Import Sales of Lake County, LLC, d/b/a Bill Bryan Subaru and Leesburg S Automotive Management, LLC  
  1. Project Update
    • Main Ramp Resurfacing
    • FY 2022 Hangar Design
    • Wildlife hazard Assessment
    • Fuel Farm Design
    • Taxiways Alpha & Delta Rehab Design
    • Veterans Road Infrastructure Design/Construction  
  1. Airport Manager Update
    • City Commission – Airport Impacts/Issues
    • Compass Rose Follow-Up  
  1. New Business  
  1. Adjournment



Airport Advisory Board Minutes
April 13, 2023 5:30pm
Airport Administration Building
8807 Airport Boulevard
Leesburg, Florida

Attendance:                 Darel Craine 
                                            Joel Hargis                             
                                            Marvin King 
                                            Byron Oldham 
                                            Bo Wroten

Call to Order

Vice-Chairman Byron Oldham called the meeting to order at 5:33pm.

Vice-Chairman Oldham gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of Minutes from March 9, 2023

 Joel Hargis made a motion to approve the minutes from the March 9, 2023 meeting.  Darel Craine seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Landlord Consent to Assignment of Lease Agreement among City of Leesburg, Import Sales of Lake County, LLC, d/b/a Bill Bryan Subaru and Leesburg S Automotive Management, LLC

Airport Manager (AM) Tracey Dean said Leesburg S Automotive Management (a division of Morgan Auto Group) has purchased three Bill Bryan dealerships including the Subaru dealer located on airport property.  The Assignment document is for the premises of the dealership plus a ½ acre parcel that is leased on a month-to-month basis for overflow parking.  As with other assignment agreements that have come before this Board, there is no fiscal impact.  The assignee assumes all terms of the lease exactly as written.  The City Attorney wrote the two Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements to provide additional protection to the City by ensuring that third parties are notified of the nature and duration of the Assignee’s interest in the property and confirm that the city’s interest in the property is not subject to any construction liens.  The MOU’s will be recorded. 

Joel Hargis said we are basically taking one company’s name off and adding a new one with nothing else changing.  He asked for the terms of the lease.  AM Dean said that the original lease was signed in 2022 with a five-year term and it includes three five-year renewal options for a total of 20 years. 

Bo Wroten arrived at 5:38pm.

Darel Craine asked if the lease rate is reviewed when it is renewed to make sure it’s at market value.  AM Dean said this lease agreement does not call for reviewing the terms as part of the renewal options.  She noted there is an automatic annual CPI increase included in the lease terms.  They do have to request the renewal options in a timely manner per the lease terms. 

Joel Hargis made a motion to approve the Assignment of Lease and Memorandum of Understanding agreements.  Darel Craine seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. 

Project Update

Main Ramp Resurfacing:  Dan Nickols from GAI said they are waiting for CW Roberts to secure a contractor to make the repairs to the damaged ramp area by Brainerd.  AM Dean said they have provided the warranty.  A meeting was held on site and everyone agreed on what needs to be done to be repaired.  Alan Reisman asked if they will be given a notice before the work starts.  Dan Nickols said CW Roberts has been told that they must give as much notice as possible.  He noted that if CW Roberts takes too long to hire a contractor and move forward with the repair work, the City is holding enough funds back that, if necessary, we can hire a contractor directly to have the work done. 

FY 2022 Hangar Design:  Dan Nickols from GAI said they are set to meet with the City’s DRC group for the review of Phase I design on Monday.  They will address any comments/concerns that came out of that review and then the project can go out to bid.  Vice-Chairman Oldham asked if that will be done by the next meeting.  AM Dean said she can notify everyone when it goes to bid.  They have met with the various utility providers previously so the DRC process should be pretty smooth.  Purchasing usually puts bids out for 30-45 days.  She said this bid will be for Phase I of the project which includes:  work on the stormwater ponds; utility work (relocation, lowering or abandoning as appropriate); all associated asphalt and site work.  She will bring info on the low bidder back to the Board.

Marvin King arrived at 5:43pm

Wildlife Hazard Assessment:  AM Dean said there is no change to this project.  It is a year-long process.  They come twice monthly to make observations and are just past half way through.  Once the observation portion is complete, they will provide a final report with recommendations.  That will be used as justification for a Wildlife Management Plan. 

Vice-Chairman Oldham asked how the issue with hogs has been.  AM Dean said it has not been too bad lately.  She said she shares the trapper’s reports with the biologists so they know what he is finding.  He also has direct contact with them.  He has removed about 30 hogs since September.  She has not noticed as much rooting in the last month or two.

Fuel Farm:  Dan Nickols from GAI said the Geotech for this project was finished yesterday.  The survey is done.  They are at about 30% design.  The schematic design should be finished in a few weeks. 

Taxiways Alpha & Delta Rehab Design:  AM Dean said they have been waiting for the grant and she actually just received it grant today.  She will take the grant and the GAI Task order to the City Commission on April 24th.  Once the documents are fully executed, they can begin the design process. 

This project is for the relocation and reconstruction of Alpha 2 and rehab of Delta, Alpha 1 and Alpha 3.    

Veterans Road Infrastructure Design/Construction:  Dan Nickols from GAI said this project is moving quickly.  They have met with the utilities and developed a plan for water, electrical and sanitary.  They should be at 50% design in a couple weeks. 

Joel Hargis asked if the tenant has secured their bond.  AM Dean said not yet.  She said this is a good project so they are moving forward while working with the tenant on this.  She is in communication with them on a regular basis regarding the bond issue. 

Airport Manager Update

  • City Commission – Airport Impacts/Issues

AM Dean said she has no City Commission items other than the agreements she is taking to the Commission on April 24th that she discussed previously.

She said at the last meeting there was discussion on the offer made by the 99’s to paint a compass rose on the airport.  At the Board’s request, she emailed her airport contact list to see how the tenants feel about this idea.  She received 31 responses, of which 30 were positive.  She has included the associated costs (survey, materials and food for the volunteers) in the FY 24 budget.  The estimate is $2,000.00.

Joel Hargis said he asked around about this, too.  The EAA group loves it.  He said he thinks the location should be reconsidered.  He thinks the run-up on * 3/1 31 is a much better location than 1/3 13.  The 3/1 31 run-up is much larger and is not used as much. 

Joel Hargis made a motion to approve the compass rose project and include the expenditure in the FY 24 budget with the location to be the run-up on 3/1 31.  Bo Wroten seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

AM Dean said she needs some direction from the Board regarding an issue related to future development on the airport.  Once the current airport projects are completed, there will be no shovel ready land left on the airport.  In order to grow, we will have to consider expanding into wetlands.  She said that growth can be used as a good justification for going into wetlands and the Airport Master Plan does show some potential building out on wetland areas.  The FAA agrees with that reasoning. 

However, when encroaching into wetlands there are certain steps that must be followed.  The first step in the process is having an Environmental Assessment (EA) study completed.  That study dies things such as delineating the wetlands, determining the type of wetlands, whether or not they are thriving and other information of that nature. 

AM Dean said the property on the east side of the airport (south of the Fire Station, east of Kilo and north of Alpha) makes the most sense for new growth.  That area includes roughly 60 acres.  She noted the section south of runway 13 does not have any infrastructure so would be much more expensive to develop.  The City Manager is currently working with the LEAD economic development team with an aeronautical company that is looking for quite a bit of acreage.  She has also had an inquiry about locating a restaurant by the seaplane ramp.  She gets calls daily from people asking where they can build on the airport.  Before these or any other projects could move forward an EA would have to be done.

She needs to know if this Board wants to use airport cash to pay for an EA of this entire area so she is prepared with accurate information on the wetlands when she receives inquires.  She can include it in the FY 24 budget.  There is a possibility the State may provide some funding but the FAA will not fund it.  Her rough estimate of the cost is $150,000.

Bo Wroten asked if the cash flow timeline shows there is funds to cover this.  AM Dean said she believes it will be OK.  She said that FDOT’s numbers have come out and it looks like there could be more funding available than we were anticipating. 

Marvin King asked what AM Dean means by growth.  AM Dean said it would be expanding into areas that would accommodate structures for things such as businesses or large hangars.  Before anything can be done in a wetland, they must have the wetland information that is derived from an EA. 

Bo Wroten said this seems to be a natural first step, but he wants to make sure the cash flow for current projects is not jeopardized.  Joel Hargis agreed and said no one will make a major investment on an unknown. 

Bo Wroten said this location seems to be the best place to start.  He likes the idea of developing south of 13 but since there is no infrastructure there it would be much more expensive.  AM Dean agreed noting that on this side of the field there is Kilo and Alpha, vehicle access from College Road and main line utilities already in place.  The south side of 13 has nothing.

Bo Wroten asked what location was proposed for the restaurant she mentioned.  AM Dean said they wanted to be close to the water for accessibility to seaplane and boat traffic.  They also mentioned working with the FBO to shuttle customers to the site.  They seemed pretty serious. 

Vice-Chairman Oldham said this seems to be the next progression.  There is more land by 13 but there is no infrastructure.  He mentioned that he had brought a while ago the expanding market for VTOL’s.  We might draw a company in that field if this land is developable.  AM Dean said a while back she volunteered our airport to be part of a FDOT study on VTOL.  She has received the study report and will share it before the next meeting.  It is very preliminary information on the things like sharing airspace with an existing airport. 

Vice-Chairman Oldham asked if we still have the Free Trade Zone (FTZ).  AM Dean said it is no longer active.  Since we never had a user, it closed in 2021.  We can reapply should a need arise. 

Vice-Chairman Oldham asked if the FAA would play any role in looking for companies in the VTOL field.  AM Dean said they would not.  Dan Nickols said there are a few companies currently operating in Florida but they are in non-towered airports. 

Joel Hargis asked if it’s possible that we could spend $150,000 on the EA and then find out the property is not developable at all.  Dan Nickols said it is possible but not likely.  Darel Craine said there is usually a way to mitigate for anything that is found.  The level of mitigation depends on the quality of the wetland.  There is also a cost factor in the mitigation process that depends on what exactly is found. 

Marvin King asked if it’s possible to research and find other areas in Florida where wetlands were developed to find out any problems that were encountered.  AM Dean said every wetland is different.  We have done EA studies on areas across the airport for a variety of projects, most recently the seaplane ramp.  For that project, three acres of wetlands were disrupted to allow for the extension of Alpha.  St. Johns River Water Management District, Lake County Water Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers are the main agencies that are involved in wetland mitigation.

Darel Craine asked if stormwater is maintained on the airport or discharged into the lake.  AM Dean said it goes to the lake.  Darel Craine said that makes it easier and we probably would not need any retention areas.  Dan Nickols said it depends on the type of land use so it is possible retention could be needed. 

Bo Wroten asked if the EA would include core samples.  Dan Nickols said the EA would not include that.  That would happen during the design process.  He noted that many airports in Florida have structures that were built on wetlands including the tower at Flagler.  Bo Wroten asked if it would be possible for them to review the EA from the seaplane ramp.  AM Dean said she can get it to them. 

Joel Hargis said at next month’s meeting he would like to see the seaplane ramp EA and would also like to see an updated project cash flow chart.  Bo Wroten said an EA on this area will have to be done sooner or later.  It makes sense to do it.  AM Dean reiterated that she thinks the cash flow will be fine and is hopeful there may be some assistance in grant funding. 

Marvin King asked if any of the $150,000 for this project would come from taxpayer money.  AM Dean said all airport cash comes from tenant rent/lease payments and FDOT or FAA grant funds. 

AM Dean noted that one drawback to doing this now is that an EA only has a lifespan of five years.  If the EA is done now and the area is not developed within that timeframe another one would have to be done in the future. There has been a lot of interest in the airport so she is not overly concerned about that.

There was no further discussion.


Bo Wroten made a motion to adjourn. 

Marvin King apologized for his late arrival.  There was a major traffic accident on 44 and they had to take a different route.  He introduced his neighbor, Ken Bare, who is a pilot that frequently flies in and out of Leesburg.

Darel Craine seconded the motion to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 6:22pm.

Bo Wroten                      

Pam Hester