Monticello, NY – Sullivan County has signed a lease with HatzolAir that promises to bring its world headquarters to the County Airport.
“We look forward to partnering with Sullivan County to operate a world-class lifesaving effort from its Airport,” said HatzolAir Managing Director and County resident Eli Rowe. “This will mark the start of a new era for both us and the County.”
Highlights of the agreement include:
· Part of the Hatzolah emergency medical service system, HatzolAir is a 501(C)3 charitable organization also known as the Hatzolah Emergency Air Response Team. The team is based at the Westchester County Airport, and its mission is to provide, arrange, facilitate and fund local, national and worldwide air transportation to those in need due to medical, humanitarian, disaster relief, compassion and/or other charitable reasons (www.hatzolair.org).
· HatzolAir has created a limited liability corporation (LLC) to oversee its coming operations at Sullivan County International Airport: HA HQ-MSV. “MSV” is the FAA’s designation for the Airport, and “HA HQ” evidences HatzolAir’s intent to make the Airport their new headquarters.
· The Sullivan County Legislature, by an 8-0 vote (Legislator Ira Steingart abstaining) on September 14, 2021, authorized the County Manager or the Chairman of the Legislature to sign a lease agreement with HatzolAir.
· The resolution additionally stipulated that HatzolAir will partner with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Sullivan County’s Division of Emergency Management to make emergency, lifesaving and search-and-rescue equipment available for emergency operations in the County.
· As of December 6, 2021, HatzolAir and the County have agreed to lease 21.7 acres of Airport property to HatzolAir so they can build a permanent hangar, world headquarters, fuel farm, parking area and an outdoor recreational space.
· The term of the lease is 30 years from the above date. HatzolAir has the option to automatically renew that lease three successive times, each time for a term of 30 years, for a potential total of 120 years. The lease payment will be $18 per year for as long as HatzolAir is the lessee.
· Until the new hangar and headquarters are built, HatzolAir will use the Airport’s existing Hangar 7 (approximately 9,000 square feet). A current tenant of that hangar will continue to utilize office space there.
· If and when the new facilities are constructed, HatzolAir will begin paying the County a $300-per-month fee for lawn-mowing, snow removal and other maintenance activities. That fee will increase to $600/month after the first 30 years, then to $900/month after 60 years, then to $1,200/month after 90 years. Hatzolah will have to separately handle and pay for waste disposal services from a private provider.
· HatzolAir will convey ownership of the fuel farm it builds to the County and pay the County $18,000 annually to cover required permitting and maintenance costs. (Note: Due to a typographical error, the original signed lease inaccurately listed this amount as $1,800. A correction will be made and has already been agreed upon by both parties.)
· Even with that fuel farm, Hatzolah Air will pay the County a surcharge of 30 cents per gallon. Any other liquids it purchases from the County (for example, de-icing fluid) are subject to the same charges.
· For perspective, last year HatzolAir purchased 400,000 gallons of fuel for their operations, utilizing two jets. They are anticipated to have five jets and a helicopter at Sullivan County Airport.
· The County has agreed to work in good faith with HatzolAir to identify funding sources to construct the buildings and infrastructure necessary for the new hangar and headquarters. If sufficient funding cannot be found by December 31, 2025, either the County or HatzolAir can terminate the lease. If the lease is terminated, HatzolAir will have 18 months to vacate the premises. However, if HatzolAir can raise the necessary funds within that time, the lease will remain in effect.
· Since HatzolAir has expressed an interest in potentially expanding beyond this initial phase of construction, the County has agreed to give it the right of first refusal on any adjoining Airport parcels that have yet to be occupied or committed to other development. If HatzolAir wishes to exercise its right of first refusal, it must match or exceed the offer currently being made by the other entity – within 48 hours of being notified by the County.
· Should HatzolAir decided to expand to an adjoining parcel, it must ink a deal with the County and begin paying maintenance fees no later than a year after that agreement is signed. Lease/rental payments will begin as soon as the agreement is signed.
· Any applicable municipal taxes, assessments and/or district charges on HatzolAir’s property will be paid by HatzolAir directly. If HatzolAir fails to pay such charges, the County will pay whatever is owed but will require reimbursement from HatzolAir with 1.5% interest accruing monthly.
· HatzolAir has agreed to indemnify (protect/hold harmless) the County from any legal action arising from its use of the property.
· HatzolAir can sublet the property to other tenants but cannot reassign or transfer the original lease to another party without consent of the County Manager and the County Legislature.
· HatzolAir can terminate the lease with 180 days’ written notice to the County.