Alva Review-Courier -

Airport discusses keeping expenses under control


April 14, 2019

After attending the City of Alva budget retreat, Airport Manager Greg Robison is looking at ways to trim expenses. Mayor Kelly Parker reported that next year’s budget will be “flat” because the city slightly overestimated revenue the last couple of years.

Robison expressed concern that pilots using the airport’s courtesy car are sometimes taking advantage of the city. He said someone will fly in expecting to use the courtesy car and not buy any aviation fuel. They are expected to replace the gas used in the car, but sometimes they don’t. Parker asked how often this service is exploited. Robison said this occurs perhaps every two months. He suggested the airport might need to charge a small fee for using the courtesy car if no aviation fuel is purchased.

With aviation gas prices rising, Robison said he’d placed an order for 8,000 gallons of fuel Monday, the day of the Airport Commission meeting.

Instead of raising fuel prices to offset the increasing cost, Robison suggested the airport accept a smaller profit to stay competitive on price. He surveyed fuel prices in the area, learning that Blackwell charges $4.25 per gallon; Enid charges $3.99 for self-serve and $4.49 for full service; Ponca City charges $3.90 self-serve and $4.20 full service; Sundance charges $3.90 self-serve and $4.20 full service; and Fairview charges $4.50 across the board. On Jet A fuel, Enid charges $3.99, Ponca City $3.30, Sundance $3.40 and Fairview $3.65. Robison concluded that Alva’s fuel is competitively priced.

He also asked the airport board to discuss what to do about people who are behind in paying hangar rent. He suggested one option might be to collect a year’s rent in advance. Then if someone moved out before the end of the year, the rent could be prorated and refunded.

Robison said he’s had two of the three airport mowers serviced in preparation for summer mowing. He planned to get the third one in for service soon.

He said he tried out a small roller the city brought to the airport to smooth out the turf runway. In his test run, the roller “didn’t even make a dent” in the grass. Robison said he learned from Bruce Papon that Litzenberger’s at Waynoka have a packer that is used in the oil field. They charge $90 an hour, and he thought it could be used to drag the turf runway. It would take half a day.

During the budget retreat, Robison said he asked the city to budget for a new airport pickup. The current one is over 22 years old and has a badly torn seat. It’s also getting harder to find parts for it. He also asked to udget $5,000 for a heavy duty roller to use on the turf runway.

April Mills from Vantage Plane Plastics could not be at the meeting so there was no update on the Alva Fly In.

The insurance adjuster looked at the airport terminal roof and determined the slope over the office and the slope over the commons area both need total replacement. Bruce Papon estimated the roofing job at $8,928 using heavy duty shingles. Because of the high winds experienced at the airport, he did not recommend regular shingles. The estimate is about $4,000 over the amount the airport will get from insurance for the damage. The city is not required to get bids for anything under $50,000. Several board members expressed confidence in Papon’s work. Terry Turner made a motion to have Papon do the roof work with the heavier shingles, seconded by Paul Kinzie. The motion passed unanimously.

During the comments section of the meeting, Turner asked about using high school students to mow the grass at the airport. The city is still trying to hire someone part-time for the airport. Parker said he would have to check into federal, state and city regulations regarding the age limits. Parker also pointed out that many students go to summer camps and have little time to work.


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