LITH hangars as storage units?

LAKE IN THE HILLS – People might be able to store nonaeronautical items at the village’s airport.

The village’s T-hangar incentive program did not produce the results officials were looking for in its six-month run.

The village even reduced the monthly rate for T-hangars during the program.

“Unfortunately, the program was not as successful as anticipated,” Director of Public Works Fred Mullard said in memo to the Village Board.

Now the village is planning to open T-hangar space to people who want to store RVs, boats, motorcycles, automobiles, snowmobiles, appliances and furniture. The Village Board is scheduled to vote on that at its meeting tonight.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, however, requires requests to store aeronautical equipment receive priority in the hangars. If necessary, the village can give a 30-day notice to terminate a lease for nonaeronautical storage to accommodate aircraft.

During the incentive program, which included a fuel discount for new tenants and three months’ free rent, the village had interest from four possible tenants.

Three accepted a one-year lease and one person backed out. Meanwhile, two other tenants left the hangars.

“We pretty much break even,” Mullard said. “Flying is not the most inexpensive hobby around. It’s one of many hobbies that requires a little bit of cost to participate. At many airports, they’re having vacancies where they haven’t had vacancies before. The general number of pilots and general aviation aircraft has been declining.”

Eleven of the village’s 20 T-hangars are empty.

The village already has received one inquiry to store nonaeronautical equipment, Mullard said.

Proposed monthly rental rates are $20 for a 5-by-10-foot space, $30 for a 10-by-10 and $55 for 10-by-30.

Mullard said the rates are lower than what local storage companies charge.

“It’s kind of hard to compare. Our rates are probably little less than some others, but although we’re inside, ... it’s not a tight building, like a lot of other indoor storage places,” Mullard said. “It’s kind of out-of-the-weather storage.”

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