Oxford County revises lease with Oxford Aviation

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OXFORD — Oxford County recently renegotiated its lease with Oxford Aviation for property at the Oxford County Regional Airport in Oxford.

County Administrator Scott Cole said the revised lease is three years in the making and comes after sometimes-contentious negotiations.

Cole said the county had several actions pending in court. “The final actions in the past few weeks led to what we have now, which is a lease that’s better for everyone,” Cole said.

In 2008, Oxford Aviation filed a lawsuit against the county, charging breach of contract and requesting indemnification in any legal matters arising from maintenance issues at the airport. It said the county failed to fix a leak in the roof first noted in 2005, which got worse in 2008.

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The lawsuit alleged damage to the facility, including mold that led to employee health issues. The county said it had paid $100,000 for repairs and mold remediation work, and said that Oxford Aviation didn’t immediately report the leak, which added to the problem. In 2010, the parties settled. The county paid Oxford Aviation $250,000, and was relieved of liability in the lawsuit and future maintenance obligations.

Cole said Oxford Aviation had raised “a variety of items beyond the settlement,” he said. “The county’s position was, ‘We settled this.’” He said the recent agreement was a win for both sides.

Oxford Aviation will now submit a quarterly maintenance report and put aspects of the 2010 settlement into the lease.

The revised lease did not change the term length; it expires in May 2027.

Oxford Aviation, which has been in business since 1988, specializes in aircraft and helicopter repair, refurbishment and maintenance. According to a release, the business has worked on more than 4,000 aircraft and helicopters since then.

In a release, Oxford Aviation owner James Horowitz said he looks forward to “many years of successful cooperation with the county as the owner of the airport.”

County Commission Chairman David Duguay called Oxford Aviation “a valued employer in Oxford County.”

“We are very pleased to resolve these matters going forward for the good of the county and Oxford Aviation,” he said. 

treaves@sunjournal.com

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