Paxton aldermen discuss options for airport
PAXTON — Lacking a quorum, the Paxton city council has rescheduled its regular meeting to Jan. 21.
However, three of the four aldermen present Monday — Marc Amore, Rick Wolfe and Alan Meyer — sit on the airport committee. They then met to discuss the future of the airport.
Local pilot Rob Steiger told the committee the city should make a commitment to move forward. He said there is pent-up demand for hangar space and suggested that if more hangars were to be built, pilots are willing to drive a distance in order to house their aircraft.
He said the council should also look into setting fees for agricultural users of the airport. He said the runway is used frequently during the growing season by crop sprayers.
Rich Kingery, another pilot, said the airport's appearance needs to be improved. "I want to see it look presentable," he said.
Both pilots also would like the city to invest in a self-pay pump to improve fuel sales and eliminate the need for paying city employees overtime.
Gifford resident Jef LeRette — who had sought to lease the city-owned hangar and serve as the facility's fixed-base operator while also operating a skydiving school at the airport — said his new plan would be to operate the skydiving out of a friend's hangar and not be FBO. He has withdrawn his request to serve alcohol to skydivers after their dives on what is city property and would not plan to host any large sky-diving events.
City Attorney Bob Martensen said he would look into the contract of the hangar lease holder to see if it prevented operating the school. He said liability concerns would be covered by a waiver participants would be required to sign,