Three years after permanently closing the St. Marys Airport, city officials have found a tenant to occupy the 280-acre site — if just temporarily.
A short-term lease agreement has been reached to allow as many as 30,000 Subaru vehicles to be parked at the airport site. Vehicles should begin arriving at the site as early as May 1, said Robert Horton, interim St. Marys city manager.
“We’re not anticipating a caravan,” Horton said of the increase in truck traffic to the airport site.
Subura of America officials approached the city, describing the site as an “ideal location” to temporarily store vehicles. The city will make sure the grass areas are mowed before vehicles start arriving.
In addition, Horton said Subaru officials have agreed to repair the perimeter fencing to ensure the security of their vehicles.
Horton said the agreement pays the city $95,000 a month, which is a welcome influx of revenue into the city’s coffers.
“It’s a blessing to us all,” he said.
Mayor John Morrissey described the agreement negotiated with the Port of Brunswick, Subaru of America and the Camden County Joint Development Authority as mutually beneficial for all parties.
“This revenue will prove vital to helping rebalance the St. Marys budget once the total impact of the COVID -19 emergency financial impact is quantified,” he said. “Logistics will be well managed and follow all necessary city ordinances, with the community in mind there are no planned logistics activities in the evening. This site is being used for storage only, the property will be under Subaru management and security.”
Horton said Subaru officials plan to move a construction trailer on site to house security and management once vehicle start to arrive.