ASHLAND AIRPORT COMMISSION
JUNE 1ST, 2021
CALL TO ORDER:
Andrew Vandenberg, Jeff Dahle, Jerry Campbell, George Schoen, Patricia Herdklotz, Daniel Palomino, Bernard Spera
Council Member Present:
Chance Metcalf, Kaylea Kathol
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES -
Campbell moves to approve minutes as written, Vandenberg seconds
2. Commissioner Announcements –
All ayes, except Herdklotz abstained due to being absent, motion carries.
Dahle starts off by thanking Dave Wolske for his time, thoughtfulness, and leadership during his time as Airport Commission Chair. Dahle stated that his hard work and fingerprints are throughout all the past minutes. Dahle mentions that there is a slight change to the agenda format in an effort to be more in line with the Council process. Dahle reminds Commission that to add agenda items during the meeting you need a motion and a second. Dahle mentions that in July staff will do a quick presentation on the adopted budget as well as a project list update.
3. Public Forum –
4. Unfinished Business:
A. Waterline Extension Update – Metcalf states that the City Water crew is just passed the old Sky hangar and should be done by the end of next week. Metcalf mentions that they are fitting this project in between all their other projects they have going. Metcalf states that the timing of this install is very good because Todd Pershing is in planning review for his new hangar and it will be the only way to provide water to him.
B. Action Item List-
a. Commission Member Vacancies - Dahle mentions the Commission still has one vacancy and if you know anyone that would be good please invite them. Spera suggests putting an announcement in the newsletter that goes out with your utility bill. Metcalf states he will provide Spera the contact info.
5. New Business:
b. Airport Maintenance Plan - Metcalf states the process is still going forward but has been moved down the priority list due to the biennium budget as well as staffing changes. Metcalf also states that Parks will continue to maintain the Airport maintenance until the plan is resolved. Dahle mentions that he doesn’t want to see this plan hang out there on a month to month basis. Dahle would like to see the plan moving to a close. Dahle reiterates what was presented last meeting regarding costs for seeking an outside maintenance contractor as it would be too expensive, and the Commission would like to be fiscally responsible. Metcalf states that yes, the Airport can not afford an outside maintenance contractor. Dahle asks if it is ok to have volunteer groups assist with this if necessary. Metcalf answers yes, they would be required to fill out a volunteer sheet within the City to work on City property.
c. Flight Path Trees - Metcalf states the survey has been completed but after an in-house review there were multiple changes requested from staff to update the survey sheet. Metcalf mentions he should have the updated survey sheet for next meeting.
d. Airport Emergency Preparedness – Campbell mentions that we currently do not have an AEP Plan for our Airport nor does the FAA require one. However, Campbell mentions that there have been some concerns about not requiring general aviation municipal Airports to have a plan. Campbell states the work group took the template from University of Minnesota Transportation Studies and scaled it down to fit the Ashland Airport. Dahle asks Campbell to distribute through staff to all the Commission two weeks ahead of the next meeting. Herdklotz mentions that we will be the first small Airport to produce this plan and that we plan to share this plan with other Airports.
e. Airport Riparian Restoration – Dahle mentions that this is something that is important but wants us as a Commission to be mindful of whether its in our purview of the Airport Commission relative to being fiscally responsible, and how that plays into the Airport Master Plan as that is our guiding document. Skinner mentions that we need to consider a mow down of the brush along the south and west side of the runway like we have in the past. Skinner states it helps reduce fire danger and eliminates wildlife from hiding in it. Metcalf mentions that he hasn’t been involved in such work taking place since being with the City. Metcalf mentions that the Restoration of the Riparian area is something that the City is interested in as its City property, but we are limited on time and resources at this time. Metcalf also mentions that he is not sure that this project in general should be taking the time and resources of the Commission as it does not directly affect Airport operations. Skinner clarifies that he wasn’t referring to the Riparian area in general. Skinner states that it’s the area just outside where parks mows with the 6-foot-tall weeds. Skinner agrees that the Riparian restoration project itself is questionable whether it impacts the Airport operations but this area in question does. Metcalf states he agrees with Skinner and thinks that some cutback would make an impact but that he doesn’t expect it to stop the wildlife completely as it is a problem throughout Ashland. Metcalf states that there is a fencing project listed in the Airport Master Plan in the future that should help as well. Palomino agrees with Skinner and states he heard concerns from pilots of wildlife on the runway over the weekend. Herdklotz agreed and states the same. Herdklotz also mentions that we should be good stewards of the waterway. Metcalf states that he will be onsite tomorrow to meet a contractor and asked if Skinner could meet him to show him the area in question as he doesn’t quite understand what it all entails. Skinner states he is available before 930am. Dahle mentions that it appears there are two parts to this, and we can speak more next meeting to find out more of what Wolske would like to get out of this project.
A. Review Airport Policies, Procedures, and roles – Dahle states that just as a reminder the Commission is advisory in nature. That we are there to provide oversight to the City with recommendations as we don’t set policy because the Council does that. Dahle mentions that in his experience with the Commission we haven’t had any bounds crossed thus far and that this Commission has done an outstanding job. Metcalf states that the Commission is made up of nine Commissioners with 5 being a quorum no matter if all seats are full or not. Metcalf states that Staff and the Commission work together to review and recommend projects guided by the Airport Master Plan. Metcalf mentions that he thinks that the Commission works well together, everybody has good ideas and they deliberate well which makes the Commission very productive. Metcalf states that if any Commissioner has any questions or concerns going forward regarding this to please reach out to him.
6. FBO Report –
B. Airport Communication Plan – Dahle States that after reviewing this document it is straight forward that everything goes through the FBO first. Metcalf agrees and says that there have been a couple contact changes which he updated on the plan. Metcalf also would like to remind everyone that maintenance items and/or concerns with maintenance are brought up to Bob at the FBO first as the Commission is not meant to be the place for initial contact. The Commission is meant to assist when there is something that is not getting resolved. Skinner states we have had this program in place and after the initial growing pains it appears to work well. Metcalf wanted to point out the Kathol put the plan together and is super easy to follow. Metcalf mentions he will send the updated Communication plan to Skinner and Lisa. Schoen asks if the Water Department should be on the list of contacts. Kathol agrees that the Water Department should be listed on the chart. Dahle offers to create a punch list to update the Airport website if someone can make the changes. Kathol stated that she would be willing to update the site if provided a list of needs.
C. Airport: Good Neighbor Items: Skinner states that it has been very quiet. There have been no complaints. Activity on the Airport has slightly increased. His business “Skinner Aviation” has been very busy as well. Hangars are all full.
Palomino stated concerns with the need for signage due to people on the Airport. Palomino stated that there was a paraglider on the Airport. Skinner stated that Brim contacted him regarding the paraglider on the Airport. Skinner asked Brim if he could talk to him and the glider was not very responsive. Skinner stated that the Ashland Airport is technically an uncontrolled Airport and it can be utilized for that use but needs to be communicated to the FBO.
7. Next Meeting Agenda Items –
Dahle requests Airport Security, Schoen asked if there is a need for an alternative fuel for the Airport. Skinner asked what he is looking for. Schoen states green fuel, and hydrogen. Skinner states he hasn’t had anyone ask for it. Skinner stated that he didn’t think there would be a demand for it. Schoen suggested maybe we can discuss in the future. Spera asks when we can go back to in person. Kathol stated that it would be up to the City Manager based on what the governor releases.
8. Next Meeting Date -
(Recording Available by Request)