Prior to Gardner’s dissolving of the freestanding Airport Commission, the Gardner Municipal Airport appeared to be self-sufficient.
However, Gardner terminated a lease agreement for administration of the airport between the city and the airport board, in part due to finances. On Jan. 1, 2016, Gardner officially took over managing the Gardner Municipal Airport and the Airport Board transitioned into an advisory capacity.
An advisory board was established, which was to meet the second Monday of each month to oversee the airport.
However in 2017, the advisory board only met five times, and so far in 2018, there has been one meeting. The last minutes posted on the city’s website are from June 2017.
The reason for the majority of cancellations in 2017 was due to lack of quorum. There must be three of five members of the board present to be considered a quorum, said Daneeka Marshall-Oqundo, public information officer.
• From December to March, there were only two board members.
• One additional member joined the board in April, which brought the number to three.
• The April meeting was set to go, but one of the members had a conflict and couldn’t make it.
• The May meeting was cancelled due to a Special City Council Meeting being called regarding 1-35 and Gardner Road.
• Two additional board members were approved by the council on June 4, completing the full board membership.
• The June 11 meeting was held with four members present.
• At the June 11 meeting it was determined that the next meeting would be held on Aug. 13.
The airport board membership process required some extra time because of the limited number of applicants in relation to term expirations/openings.
“Please keep in mind that the appointment process takes at least six weeks to complete according to Governing Body Rules and Procedures,” said Marshall-Oquendo.
The Airport Advisory Board advises the city 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.
Last year the city placed a porta potty to serve GMA visitors, saying the airport’s septic system had failed. Proposed cost to fix the bathroom was estimated at about $130,000. The city has been out of compliance with its own codes by not repairing the restrooms. The GMA outhouse is the only such unit serving a permanent public establishment.
“In regards to the GMA bathroom,” said Marshall-Oquendo, “the sanitary sewer extension for the GMA is being designed. The consultants completed the land survey for the project in June, and the design is scheduled to be completed by September.  Construction for the project is included in the proposed 2019 CIP Budget. ”
According to the city’s website, members of the advisory board are Ray Doerr, Kraig LaRosh, Jerry Fifield, Dave Hayden and David Gleiter.