Saturday, January 30, 2010

Score 1 for Oxford Aviation

This reporter has worked hard to build a reputation for being rare and unbalanced, and I don’t intend to destroy it any time soon.  It is in this spirit that Other Side passes along this item.

The news is reported in the Lewiston Sun Journal, and it’s titled “County to pay $250K to settle Oxford Aviation lawsuit.”

Presumably, interested students will read the whole story.  Here’s the nutshell paragraph:
The settlement relieves the county from liability in a lawsuit and removes maintenance obligations from a lease with the aircraft refurbishing company based at the county-owned Oxford Regional Airport. In exchange for the lease modification, the company will cease paying a monthly rent to the county.
The story “is what it is,” using a popular phrase of the moment.  We’ll make the assumption that Oxford County didn’t do a very good job establishing their arrangement with Oxford Aviation and in overseeing it to protect the interests of the taxpayer.  Perish the though that the participation of noted barrister F. Lee Bailey could have influenced the settlement.  No self-respecting official in backwoods Maine would be blinded by his glittering countenance. 

Would they?

Which should serve as an object lesson for the MRRA and the town of Brunswick.  I’d be pulling your leg if I said I have every confidence that both will avoid the kind of circumstances that occurred in Oxford.  There is simply too much on the public record to support such a rosy view.

The point that should strike readers as curious here is the amount of rent that Oxford County was charging Horowitz and his company; the perfunctory sum of $1800 a month.

Not bad for a facility of this size:

I’m not a commercial real estate agent, so I can’t comment on the actual value that such a property should yield.  I do know, however, that in my former career, my employer rented approx. 1000 sq ft of space in a local office building for my use, and paid about $1400 a month for it in 2001-2002.

Given that the facility depicted above is 40,000 square feet, either my employer was getting gouged, or Oxford Aviation has been getting a nearly free ride (or should I say “corporate welfare”) from the good citizens of Oxford County.

Once again, we could believe that the MRRA and our local leadership would never, ever let something like that happen here on our base.  (Wouldn’t we all like to see the numbers in that “memorandum of understanding” and “lease” that was about to be voted on???)

We could believe that, but we’re already seeing signs that it very well could.  A longer story on that subject is in preparation, and you’ll just have to hold your curiosity until it’s ready, which should be in the next day or two.

Keep the faith, oh ye of little patience, and it shall be delivered unto you in due time, once due diligence has been applied.

1 comment:

  1. Poppycock,

    Well KNHZ, aka BNAS, has now ceased air operations and handed control of the airspace above and around the field back to the FAA in Portland.

    If Hangars had feelings, then Hangar 6 would be sad, especially so as it seems that there are folks who are determined to turn it into the MAACO or Earl Scheib of aeronautical painting.

    There now is, though this is unconfirmed, talk that a very large airframe manufacturer is interested in Hangar 6 for use as a call center that would provide help desk support to the aviation industry.

    It's all so confusing that in reflecting on all that has happened to date, I just thank my lucky charms that we have in place a first rate team to manage the whole process.

    Or as a certain Air Force General once opined: "Sleep tight tonight - your Air Force is awake".