TUMUT Aero Club is one of the big winners from the Snowy Valleys Council Stronger Communities grant program, and will get a vital hangar upgrade as a result.
The club will get new cladding for its hangar courtesy of a $33,250 grant, and this will provided much-needed protection for its aircraft from the elements and various critters.
Club secretary Rod Blundell said the club was hoping to finance the hangar cladding with a previous grant from the NSW Government, but that this money was all required by the new clubhouse.
“Everybody uses the clubhouse,” club plane captain Craig Cullinger said.
“However, we need to protect our assets, which means providing a secure environment for our aircraft, because at the end of the day, Tumut Aero Club is all about people learning to fly.”
Club committee member Bruce Robinson applied for the funding six weeks ago. Mr Cullinger said the hangar “leaked like a sieve.”
This is not surprising considering it is over half a century old.
“It used to be a hay shed,” caretaker Pat Malone said.
It has a multitude of holes in the roof and walls, and long-term club members know where some of them came from.
“One’s from a rifle, and another from a .410 shotgun,” Mr Malone said.
These were efforts to get vermin out of the hangar.
“It didn’t get rid of them,” he said.
The most effective vermin control the club now has is its mascot, Puss the cat, but this will change when the new cladding is installed. There is no start date for the work yet, but the club is discussing quotes, and are hoping the work can be undertaken by a Tumut-area company.
“That’s what we are envisaging,” Mr Cullinger said.