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home : government : government February 26, 2015


5/8/2013 12:28:00 PM
Airport Committee feeling out new role

Rice Lake Airport Committee will have to define its new role, the committee decided at its first meeting Tuesday, May 7. The committee met at City Hall.
In March, the City Council voted to disband the Airport Commission and replace it with an Airport Committee. The council took the action so that it could change management at the airport without being deadlocked by an opposing view from the Airport Commission.
The new Airport Committee was scheduled to meet in April, but only one airport commissioner, Mark O'Brien, turned out for that first meeting. That meeting was then adjourned for lack of a quorum.
Tuesday's meeting had a quorum. On the agenda was consideration of the duties of the new committee. The new committee has the same members as the former Airport Commission. They are Stu Durkee, Richard Leitner, Jason Erb, Marv Thompson and Mark O'Brien. All were present.
Erb noted that the City Council now has oversight over the bills, rather than the former commission.
"What are you asking us to do?" he asked.
City administrator Curt Snyder responded that the committee should set up regulations for operations, improvements and finances. He also suggested that the committee establish a mission statement.
"There had been a goal to build a regional airport. Where do we go from here?" said Snyder.
Thompson asked if the commission had done anything wrong.
Snyder said the issue was contract succession. The current airport manager's contract expires Dec. 31. The Airport Commission wanted to reinstate S&S Management as airport managers, while the council was against that decision.
"It sounds like the council should be running it then," said Thompson.
Airport Committee chairman Stu Durkee said the commission and the council have the same goals and that the committee should write a mission and vision statement and present them to the council for approval.
"It's in our court," he said.
"The mission certainly is the same, to have an airport that satisfies the business and industry needs of the city and reduce the tax burden," said Durkee.
Also attending the meeting were Community Services Department director Jim Anderson, Mayor Steve Harrington, City Councilman Bruce Willers, City Clerk Kathy Morse, and city attorney Arnie Koehler.

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