PARIS — Oxford County Commissioners heard updates on plans for cleanup and repair of the large hangar building at Oxford County Regional Airport at their meeting on Tuesday.

The building has been unused and in disrepair since 2014 when the County Commission evicted its sole tenant, Oxford Aviation, for violations of conditions of their lease. Oxford Aviation was an airplane refurbishing business housed at the site.

Since then, options have been explored for reviving business possibilities in that location.

Tuesday’s meeting included an informal session with interested parties in attendance, including Mark Bancroft of Bancroft Contracting Corp., South Paris, an aviation enthusiast who has been exploring options for critical repairs needed to entice various types of business tenants for the facility. Also in attendance was Ben Mosher, who has a background of aviation operations and maintenance. He and Bancroft told the commissioners of recent work to fix roof leaks at the 40,000-square-foot building.

The commissioners also heard from Richard D. Yarnbold, a private consultant hired by Oxford County to advise on a master plan to rehabilitate the airport facilities.

Yarnbold said the Oxford County airport “is anything but typical.” He told the commissioners that development of a master plan could carry a price tag of about $125,000. He announced that he is proceeding with preparation of a scope of services, and a master plan will require state and federal approvals.

Funding for that purpose is tied to an expiration date in September, he said.

“This is encouraging for me to hear,” Commissioner Steven M. Merrill said.

The airport discussion also covered County Administrator Scott G. Cole’s report on an auction of material in the building scheduled for March 12. Cole said it would include office furniture, cabinets and possibly some metal shop equipment. He said large infrared heaters and airplane lift equipment are big-ticket items and are not likely to find buyers at the auction unless it’s for aviation use.

The auction is being held to satisfy claims of creditors following the previous tenant’s eviction and bankruptcy proceedings.

Bancroft explained how he has been heating and making a limited use of the building to accommodate his private aircraft. He said his hope is to see the property return to use as an airport, with financial support for that to come through filling the space with a variety of tenants. It was suggested that tenants might include area service organizations.

The commissioners also discussed progress on use of credit cards for fuel sales at the airport. It was also reported that a contractor has been doing a good job of snowplowing on the 3,000-foot runway this month.

In other business, Oxford County commissioners heard year-end reports from department heads.

County Treasurer Marc Vanderwood said the hiring process for the vacant deputy treasurer position is proceeding. His report said there was a “strong reply” to posting of the position. There were about 30 applicants and most had been reviewed to date, he reported.

The deadline for applications is Friday. Top candidates will be contacted toward the end of the week with interviews to be scheduled for as early as the week of Jan. 25, the report said.

Vanderwood’s report said the county’s cash position in mid-December was $1,708,145 and the operations cash position at the end of 2015 was $1,370,213.

Sheriff Wayne Gallant reported on promotions of two corrections officers. The commissioners discussed the acquisition of surplus equipment by the Sheriff’s Department in 2016. They also reviewed anticipated grant applications and related programs.


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