Airport commission official

Other airport items addressed Tuesday

There was a second and final reading of ordinance number 505 Tuesday, making the establishment of an airport commission a done deal. Now, staff is looking for Cottonwood residents to fill the seats.

Details regarding formation, composition and roles have been hammered out at several prior meetings.

The commission will be made up of seven voting members, five of which shall "be tenants/lessees of the Cottonwood Municipal Airport, or shall have a working knowledge of aviation matters," and two members shall be from the general public ­ not required to be tenants or have such knowledge, according to the ordinance. The two general public members are, however, required to live within Cottonwood's city limits.

City Manager Brian Mickelsen said staff is in the process of taking applications for the commission. He said the commission could be in effect, earliest, one month from Tuesday's ordinance reading.

Commissioner terms are three years, staggered, with the first commission having one member serve one year, three members serving for two years and three members serving three years.

Members will be appointed by the City Council.

Duties include: developing an operations and procedures manual for the airport; monitor and recommend updates to the airport master plan; make recommendations for regulation of growth, development and beautification; recommend policies and various operational options; hear complaints about the airport or airport activity; investigate grants; submit quarterly reports; and other responsibilities.

Anyone interested in serving on the commission should pick up an application at City Hall, 827 N. Main St. in Old Town.

Other airport items discussed Tuesday

The City Council also approved final payment for the automatic security gate at the airport's main entrance, as well as approval of a land purchase to protect the airport.

Citing concerns for improved safety and security, the city decided to install an automated gate at the main entrance to the Cottonwood Municipal Airport early this year.

According to a staff report to council from Public Works Director Tim Costello, "The gate automation system has been in operation since Jan. 25. For the first three months, the gate has worked well."

The final payment of $7,632 for the gate was approved unanimously Tuesday as part of the consent agenda.

Grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautics will be used to purchase 2.92 acres of land in the airport area.

The price of the parcel is $178,073. The way the grants are set up, the city will have to pay 2.5 percent of the purchase cost. The city's share with closing costs included is estimated at $4,560.

The acquisition of surrounding land is identified in the airport master plan for development and airport protection. Costello said there is about 60 more acres identified; however, staff is doubtful that all that land will be acquired.

Further land acquisition and drawing up a five-year environmental analysis are precisely the kinds of duties the new airport commission will be involved with, Costello said.

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