It is generally recognized that a permanent chapter home will contribute to long-term growth and sustainability. “A chapter home adds tremendous value and credibility… in the community…” – Charlie Becker.
In the spring of 2018, John McComas, Dick Keyt, and Kliff Black proposed to form an LLC and partner with the Chapter to purchase the Sam Butler property (aka “Polly’s house) at 5406 Wedgefield. Brazos Bunch Property, LLC was formed in June 2018, and the purchase was completed in late July. The Company is structured with a plan that will eventually (estimated 20 to 30 years) lead to the Chapter owning 100% of a cash-flow positive rental house with the 50×60 hangar dedicated to support the Chapter Purpose.
For many years, through the generosity of Ken and Jean Houseman, our Chapter 983 enjoyed the benefits of a permanent meeting and equipment storage place at the north end of Pecan Plantation Airpark. Jean finally needed to move on in 2016, so the place fondly referred to as “The Houseman Hangar” was no more.
Knowing that the Chapter needed to plan for it’s future, the Chapter officers and directors had researched several ideas and alternatives for a new, permanent chapter home. In late 2015, the best, most viable option was selected and brought forward – that is, to partner with Pecan Plantation Owners Association (PPOA) by raising donations to enhance an already planned renovation of Planeview Park. Members voiced their support for this approach through a survey taken in early 2016 and pledges of support and actual donations reached over $100,000. Original concepts evolved over the course of 2016 based on community feedback. The “final” concept presented in November 2016 called for a “Planeview Park Terminal.” The Planeview Park concept met with strong opposition from a small, but fervent group who went so far as to put forward a Pecan Plantation By-Laws amendment that would have encumbered the entire airpark. Fortunately, PPOA membership dealt the untenable, so-called “safety” amendment a resounding defeat. See the Planeview Park and Terminal page for more. While this partnership concept was abandoned in early 2017, the Chapter continues to support the much needed renovation of Planeview Park. However, PPOA will not enjoy any benefit of additional private funds raised and donated by the Chapter to build a much better park for both Chapter and PPOA use.
Starting late summer of 2016, Mark Finkelstein allowed the chapter to use his hanger at the Landings Airpark for meetings, and Tom Thibault room in his hangar for the storage of tables, chairs, audio visual equipment, signage, awnings, coffee pots, foodstuffs, and various other supplies and equipment needed for the annual chapter fly-in. Other members also helped with the temporary storage of various cooking and other equipment. And, Tom Woodward took the lead for the monthly task to deliver and return tables, chairs, and audio visual equipment needed for our monthly meetings.
In January 2017, Sam Butler proposed a “Private Hangar” partnership. EAA Chapter 983 members were surveyed in late January 2017 so that the chapter leadership and Sam could gage support for this generous, alternative proposal. In February 2017, the Chapter voted to move forward on Sam’s proposal. See Sam Butler Proposal page for more. Sam built a hangar on the property and made it available to the Chapter starting about September 2017.