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LoPresti Wins Lease Deferral From City Of Sebastian, FL

City Council Cites Potential Job Losses In Recession

The Sebastian, FL City Council has voted to defer lease payments on facilities rented by LoPresti Aviation for nine months. The council said it was concerned about the possibility of job losses during a recession.

"We hit bottom about six months ago,and are struggling like everybody else," company president Curt LoPresti told the Treasure Coast news site TCPalm. He said the company has returned its primary focus to aftermarket sales for aircraft. He estimated it would take about nine months to bring sales back to previous levels.

The vote Wednesday by the council will allow LoPresti to stop making rent payments of about $3,700 per month until November. The company leases hangar and some office space at Sebastian Municipal Airport.

Sebastian City Manager Al Minner said the rent is being deferred, not forgiven. LoPresti will have to make the payments, as well as stay current on its lease, beginning in November.

LoPresti holds a 15 year lease on a hangar that was recently built at a cost of $1.4 million. Mayor Richard Gilmore, who voted against the lease deferral, said city employees have be required to take furloughs during the recession to help the city balance its books. LoPresti said the company, which employs about 20 people, has cut some salaries, and is hoping to avoid layoffs.

FMI: www.speedmods.com, www.cityofsebastian.org

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