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Repairs at Hernando airport facility will be less costly than thought; protocols under review

A jet sits at the old Brooksville Air Center at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

A jet sits at the old Brooksville Air Center at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

BROOKSVILLE — The majority of the repairs needed at the new Corporate Jet Solutions operation at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport should be finished this week and will not cost the airport as much as first thought.

County officials also are in the process of improving their site review criteria for commercial projects after an examination of the original inspection files of the Corporate Jet Solutions facility raised questions.

When officials from the company first arrived at the site last month, they found a long list of problems, ranging from water intrusion in the office and erosion on the grounds to a fuel pump that sits in water when it rains and various mechanical problems. The facility originally was owned by Brooksville Air Center; it is now owned by the county and leased to Corporate Jet Solutions.

After some harsh words were exchanged between the county administration and the Airport Authority about who was responsible for fixing the problems, repairs got under way.

While County Administrator Len Sossamon originally worried that the county would have to build the drainage retention ponds shown on as-built plans but never constructed, further investigation showed that the ponds are not needed until additional development takes place there.

That alone would have added tens of thousands of dollars to the price tag, according to an estimate by the county engineer.

Also helping to keep down the cost, Corporate Jet Solutions has worked with the county for the most cost-effective and appropriate fixes for various problems, according to Bradley Dye, vice president of the company.

"We have worked closely with them to abate some of those costs and absorb some of those costs,'' Dye said.

The county also is addressing erosion problems and plans to reseal a door where someone had tried to break into the building. That is where some of the water intrusion occurs. Repairs to the fuel farm on the site and the fuel pump are also under way.

A safety device on the hangar doors has been replaced, as well as nonworking light bulbs in the hangar. The county and the company are working together to fix the security system, which had been hit by lightning.

Dye is handling repairs of the floor in the hangar, which was poured incorrectly. He previously had estimated the cost of those repairs alone at $20,000.

Now officials are saying that the county's share of all repairs should not top $20,000.

Dye told the Aviation Authority last week that he is excited to be getting the work finished so he can open for business.

"I'm looking for a long stay,'' he said.

An open house is set for Sept. 28.

Also last week, Sossamon, County Commissioner Nick Nicholson and county staffers met to figure out how to fix issues that surfaced when the county's file on the original construction in 2009 was reviewed.

The file didn't reflect that a full review had been completed on the site, and Nicholson expressed alarm at the lax process.

After gathering paperwork from various sources, including the Southwest Florida Water Management District, county officials concluded that the site was built differently than the plans on file indicated. It was also discovered that no check was required by the county to be sure that Swiftmud had done the appropriate site review.

Nicholson has insisted that plans on file with the county reflect what is actually built on a commercial site and that no certificate of occupancy is issued until the county is sure that Swiftmud has done its site review.

The county staff is devising a new protocol to address the issues.

"It's going to get fixed,'' Nicholson said.

Repairs at Hernando airport facility will be less costly than thought; protocols under review 08/16/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 16, 2013 10:51pm]
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