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County files suit against companies that operated at airports

Chautauqua County has filed suit in state Supreme Court against companies that previously operated out of the county’s two airports. File Photo

Chautauqua County has filed three lawsuits against the companies that operated out of the county airports.

In State Supreme Court, the county filed a lawsuit against Jamestown Aviation, LLC, one against Dunkirk Aviation Sales and Services, Inc. and one against Dunkirk Aviation Management, LLC. All three were filed Jan. 28.

JAMESTOWN AVIATION

In the lawsuit against Jamestown Aviation, the county notes it had a lease agreement with them relating to real property at the Jamestown Airport. The defendant terminated the lease on Jan. 31, 2020. The county alleges the following damage at the property:

¯ Building J FBO Office – Water damaged ceiling tiles and stained carpets; several lights and lens covers missing and/or damaged beyond repair; rotted threshold on door in back office; cracked window on the ramp side of the Fixed Based Operation office (was covered by dirty stickers); and dirty and chipped paint.

¯ Hanger J FBO Hangar – Hangar door and man doors have fully deteriorated and must be replaced and light bulbs need replacement.

¯ Hangar L (hangar space) – Hangar doors need repair and servicing; chipping and peeling interior paint; rust at base of structural steel columns; block walls are contaminated with mold and mildew; all exterior man doors have fully deteriorated and are not compliant with state fire codes, and must be replaced; and interior doors to the shop and office need new hardware.

¯ Hangar L (shop/office) – Extensive amount of paint is chipped and peeling; block walls are deteriorating due to mold and mildew; exterior doors are inoperable due to rust and omitted maintenance and are in violation of state fire code; restrooms need new fixtures; other plumbing issues; and heating ducts are rusted and gas supply line has been modified in violation of building codes.

In the suit, the county seeks judgment in an amount to be determined upon the trial of the lawsuit.

On the Jamestown Aviation’s website, the company writes, “After serving the community since 2000, Jamestown Aviation has decided it is time to let someone else provide FBO flight support at the Jamestown Airport. As of January 31st, 2020 we have officially closed our doors. We have immensely enjoyed serving our loyal customers and hope that you will continue to visit us at Chautauqua Aircraft Sales, Inc. & Dunkirk Avionics LLC where services will continue uninterrupted.” The phone number listed on the website is not in service.

DUNKIRK AVIATION SALES & SERVICES

In the lawsuit against Dunkirk Aviation Sales & Services, Inc., the county notes it had a lease agreement with them relating to real property at the Dunkirk Airport. The county alleges the defendant wrongfully terminated the lease agreement as of Oct. 31, 2017 in breach of the terms and conditions, which require the defendant to be responsible for all the repairs and maintenance of the least premises.

When the county returned Oct. 31, 2017, it alleged the following issues:

¯ Hangar No. 1 – Exit sign is missing; main electrical distribution panel is not labeled and has no evidence/record of required inspections/service; exterior paint is peeling; hangar door electrical/mechanical controls work intermittently and require manual operation to remain engaged; hangar door binds and occasionally hangs up; and the hangar is not currently suitable for lease/revenue generation due to unreliable condition of the bi-folding doors.

¯ Hangar No. 2 – Hangar door electrical/mechanical controls work intermittently and require manual operation to remain engaged; hangar door binds and occasionally hangs up; the hangar is not currently suitable for lease/revenue generation due to unreliable condition of the bi-folding doors; and the exterior paint is peeling.

¯ Hangar No. 4 – Exterior lighting is not functioning, and the hangar door seal is worn, allowing moisture intrusion.

¯ Hangar No. 5 – Roof leaks in several areas; insulation is water-logged and deteriorated; and the exterior asphalt shingle siding and roofing is loose and presents hazards to nearby aircraft.

¯ Hangar No. 6 – Interior lighting is out in areas; the exterior metal sheathing is damaged at building corner(s); the hangar door’s drive train is worn causing frequent door jamming and malfunction; and the leaking drive train oil indicates neglected maintenance and failing function.

¯ FBO Office building – Insulation has separated from interior walls due to moisture intrusion (leaks); rust is forming along wall-floor joint; and the heating units are inoperable and beyond economic repair.

The county also notes Dunkirk Aviation Sales and Services remains the owner of an underground fuel system and tanks that are still located on the leased premises. “The defendant was responsible, as the registered owner of its remaining fuel system and tanks, for the permanent closing of the facility, including the potential removal of underground storage tanks, as may be required by applicable state and federal law,” the county wrote in the lawsuit.

Because Dunkirk Aviation Sales and Services failed to permanently close the fuel system and tanks, the county was required to, at a cost of $53,306.

The county states it seeks judgment against the defendant in an amount to be determined upon the trial of the action.

A company official with Dunkirk Aviation Sales and Services was reached by phone and said they have not yet received the lawsuit and declined further comment. On the Dunkirk Aviation Sales and Services website, it states, “As of October 31st, 2017 we have officially closed our doors. We have immensely enjoyed serving our loyal customers and helping people experience the joy of flight. We hope that you will visit us at the Jamestown Airport (KJHW) where service provided by Dunkirk Avionics LLC, Jamestown Aviation Company LLC, and Chautauqua Aircraft Sales & Services, Inc. will continue uninterrupted.”

DUNKIRK AVIATION MANAGEMENT

In its lawsuit against Dunkirk Aviation Management LLC, the county notes it had a lease agreement with them as the tenant relating to hangar space. The lease was terminated on Feb. 1, 2018.

The county alleges that according to the lease, Dunkirk Aviation Management was responsible for the taxes, however the defendant had outstanding real property taxes and assessments.

The county also states that Dunkirk Aviation Management was responsible for repairs and maintenance of the hangar building.

After the lease ended, the county noted there were damaged or missing windowpanes, inoperable hangar bay lights, and inoperable hangar heating units, which the defendant was allegedly responsible to repair or replace.

The county states it seeks judgment against the defendant in an amount to be determined upon the trial of the action.

Dunkirk Aviation Management does not have a separate website or phone number listed.

County Attorney Stephen Abdella confirmed the three individual lawsuits, but declined further comment.

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