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The Livermore Municipal Airport is photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Livermore, Calif. The Livermore City Council on Monday will decide whether to allow a private fixed base operator to provide refueling services and additional amenities at the Livermore Municipal Airport. A separate decision on the project includes funding for a new airport administration building, additional hangars and a restaurant. City officials say the proposal won't increase airport traffic, but will instead provide adequate amenities to current traffic. The total cost of the project is estimated at $5.9 million. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)

LIVERMORE -- The City Council is expected to decide Monday on a long-debated plan to lease part of the Livermore Municipal Airport to a private, on-site operator that would provide refueling, maintenance and other amenities for pilots and air travelers.

Council members are likely to vote on a 35-year contract for Hayward-based Five Rivers Aviation to take over 11 acres of airport property -- planned for up to 75,000 square feet of hangar space in three phases and a self-service fuel facility -- as well as construction of a new administration building and a restaurant.

City officials say bringing in a full-service operator will allow the airport to meet the existing needs of business and aviation clients flying in and out of Livermore, and reduce the number of shuttle flights to neighboring airports.

"We already get jet aircraft; they go to wherever the business needs are," said city Public Works Director Dan McIntyre. "These are amenities that enhance" the services, but won't draw people who aren't already using Livermore's airport.

The council previously approved an operator with a different company in 2007, but the recession affected one of the key partners and the deal collapsed. Some Livermore and Pleasanton residents who opposed the lease the first time around are objecting again, saying it will result in added air traffic, noise and pollution.

Karen McMullen, who lives within a mile of the airport, said bringing in an on-site operator and the new amenities -- albeit a more scaled-down version from prior efforts -- would be like opening a "mini-mall" for aviators.

"It's going to attract more aircraft; it's logic," McMullen said. "The citizens will have to deal with the pollution and the noise and the devalued property values forever."

Max Curtis, a Livermore resident living in the airport's flight path, said just because the airport isn't growing beyond its boundaries doesn't mean it's not expanding.

"They want to make it a comfortable place for private and corporate jets to come to," Curtis said. "The airport's not going to get bigger; it's just going to get busier."

As for noise concerns, the city has analyzed future noise impacts, McIntyre said, finding they can be mitigated within state and federal standards. One method includes providing air conditioners to some homes east of the airport, so residents can keep their windows closed during the summer. Also, McIntyre added, the noisier "Stage II" jets will be phased out of operation nationwide as a result of a new federal law.

"Regardless of the decision made here, the extreme noise events aren't going to be heard after 2014," McIntyre said. "That's promising."

The proposed 8,400-square-foot administration building would replace the existing Dan Lee Terminal Building, built in 1969. City officials say the aging structure is no longer cost-effective and is badly in need of major repair.

The new restaurant, Chef Chacon's Vineyard Table, is anticipated to serve mostly nonaviation patrons and will be built at a cost of $1.1 million to the airport's enterprise fund. The city would retain a percentage of annual gross sales, depending on total revenue.

With the developer expected to submit a site plan next year, the fixed-base operator project is planned for construction by mid-to-late 2014. The total cost is estimated at $5.9 million from the enterprise fund. Any positive cash flow generated would be put back into the fund for airport operations and capital projects.

The Livermore City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at 3575 Pacific Ave., Livermore.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.

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The Livermore City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at 3575 Pacific Ave., Livermore.