OLD TOWN – The proposed Customs and Border Protection facility at the city’s municipal airport at DeWitt Field would pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city’s coffers in the years ahead, according to CIty Manager Bill Mayo.

CBP – typically better known as the Border Patrol – currently operates out of Houlton but wants a more centralized location in the state for its air and marine operations units,  although its main offices for the region would remain in Houlton. The CBP needs a 70 foot by 70 foot hangar to house rotorcraft, and 2,500 square feet for office and command center space. The facility also would need JetA fuel, which DeWitt Field currently doesn’t offer.

Last year, city officials said they were prepared to provide a turnkey operation at the airport for the CBP, which would include the new hangar and office and command center space built to CBP specifications. The facility also would require land access, vehicle parking, and a newly constructed aircraft apron.

The lease that would include land, the building and a maintenance and operations fee. That lease would cover the cost of a bond that the city would need to cover the cost of the project, which has been estimated at $1.3 million.

Last week, Mayo provided the city council with more financial details of the plan. He said CBP wants a long-term lease of 15 years, with the possibility of a five-year extension; that would cover the city’s costs. Additionally, there will be a projected $20,000 a year in fuel sales; when all the revenues are added together, the city could net anywhere from $300,000 to more than $560,000, depending on whether an extension is signed.

Those numbers only include one helicopter that Border Patrol plans to have fly out of Old Town. The agency, however, already has indicated there could be more aircraft in the future, potentially meaning more fuel sales.

Quotes will be sought soon from different banks for funding for the work at the airport. Border Patrol has indicated it would like to have the Old Town facility operational this year.