LABELLE -- Fletcher Flying Service 419, LLC won a commercial lease at LaBelle Airport Sept. 28 when the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners in a 5-0 vote approved a 40 year land lease at a term rate of 30-cents per square foot per year subject to Florida Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Association approval.
The lease will be reassessed every five years, subject to the same approvals, wherein term rates may increase, according to Public Works Director Shane Parker.
Fletcher wants to relocate to LaBelle Airport from Immokalee Regional Airport with plans to build a $500,000 100-foot by 100-foot structure.
Fletcher operates an agricultural spraying and firefighter service and plans to hire employees along with creating a training program for student pilots.
“In 40 years, you’d be the owner of the facility,” Parker said.
The county will allocate the land, plus a 5-foot parameter around the building Fletcher will pay for and build himself as well as a common use parking lot for the next hangar and apron.
“Is that unusual that he’s going to have to pay for 40 years?” asked Vice Chair Emma Byrd.
Parker said today that’s typical, citing that Immokalee requires 5o years now.
Commissioner Karson Turner requested language in the contract that Fletcher would need to seek board approval if he ever wanted to sublet the property.
“You can opt to not sublease,” he added, although the intent is not to sublet the property at this time.
Parker said he wanted Public Works to maintain the new parking lot as it is for common use, adding that Public Works already has the plans and designed the taxiway to make sure the slopes didn’t lead to the hangars.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Chairman Mitchell Wills said. “He’s doing everything on his own, he’s not asking for anything. It’s going to benefit LaBelle Airport but I think it’s going to do more than that so I think it’s a good fit.”