Michael Kramer, public works director, discusses project bids for structure demolition at Gardner Municipal Airport with members of the Airport Advisory Board, in a meeting at the Gardner Senior Center on May 8. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Airport Advisory Board reviewed the Airport Layout Plan, fuel farm status and financials at the May 8 meeting. Bids for the demolition of structures on newly acquired property and plans for acquiring more property also were shared with the board.

Demolition bids
Michael Kramer, public works director, told the board that the city has received three bids for demolition and site clearing of the former Paulsen residence.
The job entails two elements: structure demolition/site clearing and asbestos abatement.
Kramer said the document specifying FAA requirements for the job contained over 600 pages of materials.
Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) prepared an engineer’s estimate for the city prior to collecting the contractors’ bids. The estimate was $40,000 for demolition and $25,000 for asbestos abatement.
There was a large difference in the actual bids. The high bid was $24,000 higher than the estimate total. The low bid, from Skillman Construction, LLC., was $26,000 under the estimate. The third bid was in the middle, very close to the estimate.
The Skillman bid is $30,600 for demolition and $8,000 for asbestos abatement.
FAA grants will contribute to the demolition costs but the city must pay 100 percent of the asbestos abatement.
Kramer said PEC had reviewed Skillman’s qualifications, documents and references, and staff would recommend bid approval to city council at the May 15 council meeting.
The next property acquisition being worked on is the 17 acre Baker property.

Upcoming events
There are two annual events occurring on back to back weekends in June.
The 22nd annual Gathering of Eagles event will be held at the Gardner Municipal Airport on June 17-18 and will feature fly-in replica World War I aircraft.
June 24 is the Greater Kansas City Area Vintage Fly-in. This event has become the largest vintage and antique airplane fly-in in the area.
Kramer said an individual has asked for permission to do a “Pilots for Christ” event on July 22. He said the event would include about ten planes. There would be plane rides, music and food. The event remains under consideration.

Restroom woes
An issue discussed previously is the situation with the restroom at Gardner Municipal Airport.
The restroom is on a septic system that has been failing for years and, aggravated by recent heavy rains, has become unusable.
The city doesn’t want to replace the septic system because the current location of lateral lines is poor, and there is no alternate location.
To connect the airport into the city sewer system would cost somewhere around $130,000, and that’s not in the current budget.
Kramer said that right now it was about a 1200 foot run to the connection point.
The governing body will be putting together the next fiscal year budget in the coming months.
Airport patrons wanting functional bathroom facilities at GMA are going to have to wait a while longer to find out if that will be approved for 2018.
In the meantime, the city has placed a handicap accessible porta potty outside the building.
Members commented that was better than nothing – except when it’s raining, and then it leaks rainwater through the roof onto the occupant.
Kramer said he would have those things looked into.