MERIDEN — The City Council unanimously approved bonding $600,000 Monday for a new aircraft hangar at Meriden Markham Airport, adopting a recommendation made by the council’s Finance Committee last week.
The new hangar adds to two hangars approved by the council earlier this year. Each hangar is expected to have room to store around eight aircrafts at the public airport. All three hangars are expected to pay for themselves over the life of the 20-year bond through rent payments the city will receive from pilots storing aircraft.
The hangar approved Monday will be built to the south end of the airport over the Wallingford town line. A portion of the airport, at 213 Evansville Ave., is located in Wallingford, meaning Meriden had to obtain building permits from Wallingford. The building permit is set to expire “relatively soon,” Finance Committee Chairman Brian Daniels said, giving officials a sense of urgency with the project.
The building permit caps the number of planes that can be stored on the Wallingford side at 50. Daniels said the third new hangar will put the city around that limit.
“This pretty much caps out what we’re able to do,” Daniels said. “... I know they have plans for a possible restaurant in the future and other amenities, but as far as building hangar space for additional airplanes, this is probably going to be the end of that expansion.”
The hangar approved Monday will pay for itself in about 17 years, after which it will produce about $60,000 in annual revenue, according to Finance Director Michael Lupkas.
After the first two hangars were approved last month, the city looked into the feasibility of adding more hangars because some councilors expressed a desire to build more given their ability to generate revenue.
The city was also compelled to build the new hangars because they say there is a high demand for hangar space in Connecticut and the surrounding region. There is a wait list of around 60 pilots looking to store their aircraft inside hangars at Markham, City Manager Tim Coon has said.
The airport upgrades approved last month include the two new hangars as well as demolition and rebuild of three other hangars upwards of 70 years old. Those upgrades will cost $3.4 million, including $2.4 in bonds and another $1 million in interest.
The hangar approved Monday will cost a total of $852,000, which includes $252,000 in interest.
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