Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Airport Advisory Board met at the Senior Center on March 13 and discussed the airport’s master plan.
There are two separate issues regarding the Airport Layout which is part of the Master Plan.  Present GPS latitude and longitude locations are included but do not match up with 2010 information.
Michael Berry, Professional Engineering Consultants, was at the meeting to update the board about the issue.
He said he didn’t know how it happened, and it will take some time to sort it out with the Federal Aviation Administration.
One of the board members asked about a lawsuit the city is facing.
Michael Kramer, public works director, said he could not comment on that, and he didn’t — however the board members briefly discussed it.
According to discussion, a property near the airport was the original desired location for the Orschelen’s store. Due to its proximity to airport protection zones, the sale fell through. The property owners are now suing the city.
Also discussed during the meeting was the fuel vendor for the airport and the hangar wait list. The board discussed both of these items in detail last year.
Consensus last October was clear that the board preferred to keep using Phillips 66 as the fuel vendor, and they still do.
The board strongly feels that it’s a high quality brand of aviation fuel and that there won’t be “a penny’s difference” in prices collected by bid. In addition, there could be expenses and down time in switching vendors.
Kramer didn’t disagree, but said he still has to follow policy and procedure.
Kramer wanted to know if the board believed that people on the hangar wait list should remain on top after declining an opening. Board members said they should stay on top.
Kramer also asked if giving five days to respond to an opening was the right amount of time. Board said it was.
There was a short review of financial statements. Board members noted expenses were low because there wasn’t snow removal expense this year.
Kramer then reviewed the duties, functions and purpose of advisory boards. He said most are created by resolution, some by ordinance, but the main purpose of all is to get citizen involvement and input into city government.
Kramer said advisory boards are not authorized to initiate any action on behalf of the city. The only duty is discussion and to provide recommendations to city council.
He directed members to the handbook on the city website.
Kramer explained that advisory boards do not tell department heads how to do their jobs, nor do individual council members.
“A city council person can’t necessarily say that either. They can’t come and say, you need to do this and this and this. As a city council, they can direct the administrator, by policy, you should do this and that,” he said. “…you guys input is really to have discussion and formulate opinions as a group and help me take that to city council.”
The Airport Advisory Board was created by ordinance. Kramer said he thought that was because it had to dissolve a previous board as well as establish the new one.
Because it appeared the agenda for the next regular meeting would be light, Kramer asked the group if that turns out to be the case, would they prefer to cancel or go ahead and meet? The group said they didn’t really want to cancel but agreed to cancel if there was nothing new to discuss. A decision will be made closer to the meeting date.