Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Aaron Otto, executive director, provided an update at the commmision’s Oct. 25 meeting regarding repairs from the storm damage incurred at Johnson County Executive Airport last spring.
Area storms last March produced 80 mph straight line winds that caused serious damage to hangars at the Executive Airport. The airport was shut down that night for about 12 hours while runways were cleared of debris. Damage occurred to buildings, as well as the aircraft and other items stored inside.
Repairs are still ongoing.
Lee Harris, vice chairman, asked for a timeline on the repairs.
Otto said once a vendor was selected, it would take eight weeks to go through the process, because county policy requires that of expenditures over $100,000.
Weisenburger asked if the commission would see a bid by the next meeting. The answer was “most likely not.”
Harris was not pleased with this timeline.
“How can it take eight weeks? I mean this storm happened in March. I realize all the steps we had to take – but this is not good, the bureaucracy runs this slow. We’re at the point where we need to get going and approve stuff, and it’s going to take eight more weeks?” Harris said.
Otto explained that expenditures over $100,000 had to be approved by BOCC and that alone is a three week process. He said policy wording says approval must come from BOCC or an “appropriate board.” Otto said that in the past JCAC had not been considered the appropriate board, but a meeting was scheduled with county legal next week to see if that could be changed.
Several commission members joined Harris in commenting that the timeline needed to be ‘fast tracked.’
Harris said he couldn’t understand why it takes three weeks to get something in front of the BOCC.
Otto said every item they see goes through the same process.
“You know what, that’s not acceptable. I mean, there are certain things that need to be expedited. Who do we talk to?” asked Harris.
“Forget what the policies and procedures are and start pushing buttons to see if we can’t get to the head of the line in every respect here – would you do that?” Harris asked Otto.
Before Otto could answer, Jerry Brockhaus, treasurer, asked the chairman if he would speak to Ed Eilert, BOCC chairman, when he attended the next BOCC meeting.
Weisenburger said that he would and then moved to the next item on the agenda.

Other business considered at the JCAC meeting included:
•  approval of an amendment to lease agreement with Signature Flight Support
• approval of water purchase agreement with City of Gardner
• approval of updated changes to the JCAC By-Laws
• approval of an Estppel Agreement with Cornerstone Bank for Empire US, LLC
• approval of a Lease Amendment with Twist Air, Inc.
• approval of amendment to lease with Altiras Industrial Services LLC regarding rates for rail car services
There will be no November meeting – instead the November and December meetings will be combined and held on Dec. 6.