PARIS — Oxford Aviation has until April 1 to find a tenant to take over its lease at the Oxford County Regional Airport in Oxford or risk eviction, according to the terms of a judgment hammered out between the company and Oxford County on Wednesday. 

The handwritten judgment was filed in 11th District Court following more than two hours of mediation between the two parties and their attorneys. A formal judgment will be filed with the court within the next week. 

Speaking in front of Judge Paul Cote, George Marcus, attorney for Oxford Aviation President James Horowitz of Casco, said the agreement was fair and reasonable and served the public interest because it involved a publicly-used airport.

According to the terms of the judgment, Oxford Aviation and Horowitz have a little more than two months to find an acceptable successor to take over the lease of the 40,000-square-foot building at the airport, which is off Number Six Road in Oxford. 

The prospective tenant must meet certain qualifications, including independence from Oxford Aviation and Horowitz, pay compensation for all damages, provide allowances of compliance, and furnish a $100,000 security deposit on the property. 

County commissioners will have an opportunity to vet the prospective tenant before approving or disapproving of them, according to the agreement. If commissioners disapprove, the case will be moved to U.S. Bankruptcy Court for resolution, if the sole issue is whether the couty’s refusal was unreasonable.

Horowitz is currently in Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy at the court.

If the company is unable to find an acceptable successor, a writ of possession will be issued for the property to Oxford County, opening the way to evict the company.

Outside the courtroom, Marcus said the two parties will be issuing a joint news release about the judgment in the next few days.

In a separate interview, County Administrator Scott Cole said he was glad the county and Oxford Aviation were able to reach a productive agreement.

“We believe it best meets the needs of both parties,” Cole said. 

The company, which repairs and refurbishes aircraft, has leased its 40,000-square-foot headquarters since it opened its doors in 1989. A new lease, in which Oxford Aviation paid no rent but was responsible for maintenance, was signed less than a year ago.

Oxford County filed suit in 11th District Court in October to evict Oxford Aviation, alleging the company violated 11 separate terms of its lease.

The suit’s proceedings were stalled in November, when Horowitz transferred his company’s assets and liabilities to himself and declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The county’s case was removed to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland until a judge granted the county’s motion to have the case remanded back to District Court in December. 

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