04/14/11 The Plymouth Board of Aviation entered into an alfalfa crop lease agreement during their regular meeting on April 12. The lease will be for a period of over seven years at an annual payment of $2, 910.
The agreement between the Aviation Board and Jonathan Ganshorn/Nathan Burch means that 48.5 acres of land between the runaways and grass taxiways will be farmed at $60 per acre per year.
City Attorney Nelson Chipman called the idea of the agreement a “unique idea”. Both parties were prepared to sign the agreement at the Tuesday night meeting, but Chipman had prepared the contract for a period of five years. Ganshorn asked that it be extended to seven years plus so that the date of November 1 when payment is due would be the only date that they would have to remember and that it be extended to seven years. It was noted in the meeting that the typical alfalfa crop is good for seven years. Ganshorn said, “It will take $9,000 just to put seed and fertilizer out.”
According to Ganshorn, they will cut the crop every 28-32 days during the season and remove the bales within 24-48 hours.
Board President Tom Flynn said there would be added value to the agreement since it will mean less mowing for airport employees.
Ganshorn and Burch also asked that the agreement include a “first right for renewal”. Chipman agreed with the request, but informed the board members that they would not necessarily have to renew the contract if they chose to eliminate the project.
The conditions of a second agreement were discussed, but the applicant was not able to attend the meeting. Ken Keller of Ft. Wayne Helicopters, Inc. is currently renting a space in Hangar A at $80 per month. At this point, Keller intends to enter into a commercial lease for a business he will operate at the Plymouth Airport. After some discussion between board members and Chipman, board members decided to increase the monthly fee to $100. Board President Tom Flynn indicted that if Keller wants office space as well, that there would be additional costs.
The agreement will include a one-year renewable clause.
Carol Anders Correspondent