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Lease rates to be reviewed for Texada Island Airport

Advisory committee will provide advice on increasing hangar leases
GIVING CONSIDERATION: qathet Regional District committee of the whole was to vote on sending a proposed increase in Texada Airport hangar lease rates to the regional board, but the committee decided to consult the Texada Airport Advisory Committee first.

qathet Regional District (qRD) committee of the whole is recommending the regional district refer a draft hangar lease agreement to the Texada Airport Advisory Committee meeting on April 19 before regional directors give it consideration.

At the March 28 qRD committee of the whole meeting, directors were to consider a recommendation to refer the matter to the regional board suggesting that it approve a new lease format to raise the lease rate to nine cents per square foot.

However, Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said he wanted to move an alternate motion to send the matter to the airport committee before the item is considered at the April qRD committee of the whole meeting.

“As I understand it, the Texada Airport Advisory Committee has a meeting on April 19 and they’ve been thinking about this item,” said Fall. “It lets them have an opportunity to consider the information in the report and make a recommendation for us.”

Electoral Area D (Texada) director and committee chair Sandy McCormick said she supported the recommendation.

“It’s appropriate for the draft document to go back to the airport advisory committee for several reasons,” said McCormick. “At the meeting held October 21 [2023], they expressed support for option one (raising the private lease rates to eight cents per square foot) and at the November 22 meeting, the airport committee asked that a final draft of the lease be circulated to them for comment prior to consideration by our board. That has not occurred. The meeting coming up in a couple of weeks is an opportunity to do that.”

McCormick said sending the matter to the airport committee would not cause much of a delay.

“This is the appropriate way to go,” said McCormick. “They are people who know a lot more about the workings of the airport than I do. It would be helpful to have their advice before we make a final decision.”

According to a staff report raising private lease rates to nine cents per square foot would bring the rate to $432 per year for most leases, up from the current $350 per year. That would be an $82 per year increase, which would be 23.4 per cent. The report stated that the existing lease is more than a decade old and the wording and lease rates have not changed during that period. The old leases begin expiring in May and the intent is to renew expired leases with the new format as they become due. That would be a two-year process as the last one expires by the middle of 2026, according to the staff report.

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