Some local pilots think that residents should be asked to chip in for the day-to-day operations at the village-owned .
Mike Carzoli, president and owner of located at the Lake in the Hills Airport, suggested the airport is a boon to the local economy and the village should consider a property-tax levy so the owners of airplanes do not bear all the financial burden of running the place.
A group of pilots asked village board trustees at Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting to meet with them and discuss the matter.
Mark Zakula of Algonquin owns a hangar at the airport, pays a $187 ground lease and was disturbed by the $23 fee tacked onto his January bill.
“Nowhere in the lease is the village allowed to randomly, without my consent, add additional fees at their discretion,” Zakula wrote in a letter to airport manager Manny Gomez.
Carzoli suggested the fee increase would mean more empty hangars at the airport.
Gomez said there are 11 empty T-hangars at the airport, which rent for $368 a month, and some space is available to rent in the larger hangars at the airport.
Trustees Denise Barreto and Russ Ruzanski said they were willing to meet with the pilots and discuss their situation.
But Gerald Sagona, village administrator, produced a list of municipally owned airports in Illinois, including Chicago-Executive Airport on Milwaukee Avenue and Schaumburg Regional Airport, which do not levy a property tax for airport operations.
Sagona added the only way for a pilot to get rid of the new electricity tax — which was approved last summer by the village board — would be to install a meter in the hangar and pay for the utility directly or use solar power.
“They use a lot of power for space heaters and compressors not to mention lights,” he said. “Somebody’s got to pay for it.”
Last year, the operating budget at the airport was $288,000. Money generated through leases and the sale of fuel is used to pay for day-to-day operations.