Members of the Gardner City Council heard an update regarding the management transition at Gardner Municipal Airport at their Aug. 15 meeting.
The former Airport Association was dissolved, and management of the airport’s operations came under the direction of the city Jan. 1, 2016.. Brian Faust, public works director, took over the role as airport manager..
The airport is not self-sustaining and will require about $117,000 annually to subsidize it, according to a report prepared by Laura Gourley, finance director. The figure was determined during the 2017 budget process, and it is forecast a subsidy will be necessary for at least five years.
“The previous Airport Association was not truly self-sustaining, as they were benefiting for decades from many services provided by the city staff at no charge,” Gourley states.
Now that the airport is part of the city’s operations, it is subject to the Kansas cash basis and budget law. The 2016 budget was amended to include the airport as an enterprise fund.
Transferring management of airport operations was in part due to city audits from 2006-2011 indicating deficiencies with accounting procedures including late payroll and sales tax filings, lack of segregation of duties; missing expense receipts and failure to file 1099 forms for contract labor services, according to Gourley. There were no deficiencies reported in 2012 or 2013; however, auditors advised that if issues were found to rise to the level of “material weakness” it could have a negative impact and result in an unfavorable opinion regarding grants, credit rating and interest rates.
Effective this year the Airport Advisory Board advises the council on matters pertaining to continued growth and improvement of the airport including: acquisition of property, construction and reconstruction of airport facilities, institution of programs and procedures which will increase usage of such facilities, and review and make recommendations regarding the airport master plan.
Regular meetings are held on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the city hall council chambers. All meetings are open to the public.
Current advisory board members are: Dave Hayden, Joe Scalet, Ray Doerr and Blayne Camp.
Gardner is accepting applications for positions on the Airport Advisory Board The board consists of five members, each serving a three-year term.