Despite wintry weather and single digit temperatures last week, patrons of Gardner Municipal Airport must use a portable potty that was placed there last summer. Definite plans to repair the bathroom have not yet been made. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz
More than 6 months later, and many, many degrees colder, a solution for the broken bathroom at Gardner Municipal Airport has not been found.
Despite single digit temperatures this month, a lone porta potty sits outside.
The airport’s interior bathroom is closed due to a failed septic system, and in June, 2017, costs to connect to the city sewer was estimated to be $135,000, although Michael Kramer, director of public works, said an underground holding tank could be considered as an option.
At a June city council meeting, both councilmen Lee Moore and Steve Shute indicated the airport’s bathroom needed to be operational.
“We’re going to have to do something,” Moore said then. “I don’t know what the proper course of action is – but definitely not a $130-135,000 project.”
Last June, Kramer said he was unaware of any other Gardner residence or building currently using a septic system or porta potty.
A porta potty does not meet the city’s ordinance requirements to provide a ”water –flush system to be built or rebuilt, constructed, and maintained in such a manner as to meet the requirements of construction and maintenance hereinafter described.”
To construct a line to connect to the city sewer, it would take a grinder pump station, electrical, 67 feet of boring, 1,325 feet of force main and connection to the existing city sewer system at 174th and Kill Creek Rd., according to Kramer.
GMA has about 26,000 visitors per year; during special events, such as fly-ins, the city increases the number of portable toilets to serve the crowd.
Questions to city officials regarding plans to repair the GMA bathroom facilities were not answered by press time.