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Perham airport may get new hangar

The Perham Municipal Airport could be getting a new hangar next spring.

With a handful of people currently on a waiting list to rent hangar space, city councilors are considering adding room for six more airplanes. They voted at a meeting last week to move forward with putting a bid package together on the project.

It was mentioned during discussion that the hangar would be good for local tourism and business.

Councilor Fred Lehmkuhl said there are three or four names on the waiting list, but that list has been much longer in the recent past.

He’s also been told “that more people are out there who would move” out of hangars at nearby airports to come to Perham.

Any hangar space not rented out could be used for temporary city storage space. The 7,500-square-foot hangar would not be insulated.

City Manager Kelcey Klemm estimates a total project cost of $289,000 for the hangar. Partial funding may be available through a Minnesota Department of Transportation loan program, or the city could choose to pay for it outright or through other funding means.

BHH Architects has been hired to put bid documents and construction drawings together, and then the city will advertise for bids on the project, before anything is finalized. Klemm said he’d like to get bids out later this winter, if possible.

The airport isn’t exactly a big money-maker for the city: Klemm said some money comes from the state for maintenance costs, but the city covers the rest.

“At the end of the day, we don’t break even, but it’s close,” he said.

Currently, the city charges $120 per month to rent one of 12 existing hangar spaces. If the rents were raised to $150 per month, as proposed, and all the spaces were filled (including the six new ones), the rental revenue would be enough to pay off the new hangar within 10 years.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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