Reliant Aviation, the fixed base operator at the Albany airport for the past 30 years, will cease operating on Nov. 1 under an agreement negotiated by City Attorney Jim Delapoer and approved by the city council.
Owners Vickie and Tom Kopczynski must have all of their belongings off the airport site by Dec. 1.
Delapoer outlined the terms of the agreement at Wednesday night’s council meeting.
The Kopczynskis also agreed to make their corporate debt a personal debt in exchange for receiving a one-third credit on what they owe the city in back rent. With the credit, Delapoer estimates the debt at more than $20,000.
The Kopczynskis are expected to sign a five-year promissory note at 9 percent interest per year, with a provision that the interest will not be collected as long as payments are made in a timely way. The couple will pay the city two $3,000 payments each year, starting on Nov. 1. A final balloon payment is due when the note matures.
Councilor Jeff Christman said the settlement does several things: It saves the city money because the case will not go to trial, the city can now start looking for a new FBO, and at the first of the year the airport can start going in a new direction.
Chris Bailey, the city’s airport and transportation manager, said Thursday she has drafted a request for proposals for a new FBO for the Airport Advisory Commission to consider.
“I expect they will provide some additional comments, and then we will present it to the council before advertising for an FBO,” she said. “With a firm move-out date, the commission will probably start asking for volunteers to staff the office once Reliant has moved out in order to greet and help visiting pilots.”
Bailey said the airport will remain open for business as usual.
Last July, the council voted unanimously to evict Reliant. At that time, Reliant owed the city $34,500 in back rent.
The Kopczynskis said then they had been unable to meet their $1,500 monthly payments because of the poor economy and because the city no longer allowed them to pump fuel for aircraft.