Wednesday, November 26, 2014

City moves toward selling jet fuel with possible truck buy

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 6/20/2014

A jet fuel truck could soon be taking up residence at Ottawa Municipal Airport.

Ottawa city commissioners agreed Monday to move forward with the acquisition of a 5,000-gallon Jet-A fuel truck currently based at the Pittsburg airport if the city’s Airport Advisory Board endorsed the proposal.

A jet fuel truck could soon be taking up residence at Ottawa Municipal Airport.

Ottawa city commissioners agreed Monday to move forward with the acquisition of a 5,000-gallon Jet-A fuel truck currently based at the Pittsburg airport if the city’s Airport Advisory Board endorsed the proposal.

Jack Miller, chairman of the advisory board, told commissioners the cost of the truck, which has a 1978 Ford chassis and a Caterpillar engine, would be $4,500. After talking with aviation industry representatives who work on these type of vehicles, Miller said, he estimated replacing the truck’s two hoses and filters, cleaning the tank and making other minor repairs would cost an additional $3,500 to $4,000.

“We could get into it for less than $10,000,” Miller said.

Miller and Gene Ramsey, advisory board member, said general consensus among members was to purchase the truck, though the board had yet to vote on the issue. The advisory board met briefly Tuesday and endorsed the purchase, Richard Nienstedt, city manager, told city commissioners at their meeting Wednesday morning at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.

Miller and J.D. Scott, owner of Hawkeye Helicopter and the airport’s fixed-base operator, had inspected the vehicle, Miller said.

“J.D. Scott and I feel it’s a solid truck,” Miller said.

Miller, a longtime pilot, retired in January 2012 as facilities manager for Honeywell Aerospace, Olathe, after 33 1/2 years with the company.

The fixed-base operator would sell the jet fuel, and the city would receive a royalty on those sales, Nienstedt said. The city would own the truck, he said.

One of the goals of both the advisory board and the city has been to add jet fuel sales at the airport, Nienstedt said.

People connected with the Ottawa airport, 2178 Montana Road, have said they think a market exists for jet fuel sales, based on conversations with pilots. Miller offered the anecdote of Cargill representatives recently indicating the company would purchase jet fuel at the airport. Cargill officials had arrived at the airport in a company plane to do business with Ottawa Truck [now Kalmar Ottawa], Miller said.

The city could use money from its special highway funds to purchase the truck, Nienstedt said.

City commissioners thought the price of the truck was reasonable, they said. The city previously had looked at putting in two above-ground fuel storage tanks at the airport. The cost of that project was estimated at $235,000.

The city’s ability to “get into the jet fuel business” for $10,000 is a good investment, Blake Jorgensen, city commissioner, said.

Miller estimated the truck could be operational in 15 to 20 business days after the city took possession of the vehicle.

comments powered by Disqus