New Blanding airport committee formed

by David Boyle
News Director
Members of the Blanding City Council approved appointments to the new airport advisory committee and heard reports from city staff including an update on the wellness center at their latest meeting.
At their August 23 meeting members of the Blanding City Council provided advice and consent to Mayor Logan Monson’s appointment to two city advisory committees.
On the city recreation advisory committee Kyle Hosler was reappointed to the committee, with Emily Olsen, Trent Herring, and Laura Stern appointed to the committee.
Monson also appointed seven members to the newly created airport advisory committee.
The advisory committee requires representation from the airport’s fixed base operator (FBO), two aviation businesses at the airport, twoa hangar tenants, and two at-large representatives.
The two hangar tenants with no other affiliation were pilots, Dakodta Clements, and Jason Nay. The two aviation businesses are represented by flight instructor Chase Palmer and Evan Black of Guardian Flight. The at-large seats are held by Kristian Olsen, vice-president of USU-Blanding, and Chris Allen, a licensed drone-flight pilot. The FBO manager Kasper Pedersen is also on the committee.
The airport advisory committee will assist in the creation of policies and rates for the airport. In April, 2022 members of the flight community in Blanding voiced opposition to a considered increase of rates at the airport.
Airport users shared they weren’t against any rate increase but wanted additional input on how the city creates policies for the airport and the fees assessed to its users. As a result the council created the committee, similar to ones in other municipalities.
In unrelated but similar news at the August 23 meeting council heard a public comment from someone with three hangars at the Blanding Airport.
Glenn Gurney asked the council to suspend its current lease requirements, saying only one insurance company meets the city requirements. Gurney said he tried to use a local insurance agent but they were unable to. 
Gurney said he has not complied with the insurance requirement, and six days after suggesting an airport advisory committee to the city he received an eviction notice from the city. He asked the city not to take legal action against him but to put the issue on hold to discuss it.
City council entered into a closed session to discuss the issue behind closed doors.
On the 23rd, the council also heard an update from city manager David Johnson on efforts to secure funding to update the city Wellness Center to put it in compliance with fire code.
Johnson reported he presented to the Permanent Community Impact Board (CIB) which provides loans and grants to towns impacted by mineral resource development on federal lands.
Johnson reported the CIB passed a motion offering a $341,000 loan at two-percent interest with a $29,000 grant with finalization coming in October. 
The city will contribute $150,000 or $200,000 from capital savings depending on if the city receives a grant from the USDA.

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