Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Age stalls purchase of jet fuel truck

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 7/5/2014

The City of Ottawa still is in the market for a jet fuel truck for the airport.

Richard Nienstedt, city manager, told city commissioners Wednesday night the city’s plans to purchase a fuel truck in Pittsburg had fallen through because the city learned the truck had not been used in seven years.

The City of Ottawa still is in the market for a jet fuel truck for the airport.

Richard Nienstedt, city manager, told city commissioners Wednesday night the city’s plans to purchase a fuel truck in Pittsburg had fallen through because the city learned the truck had not been used in seven years.

Ottawa city commissioners agreed in June to move forward with the acquisition of a 5,000-gallon Jet-A fuel truck currently based at the Pittsburg airport.

Jack Miller, chairman of the advisory board, told commissioners at a June study session 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.

But then Miller, Nienstedt and other city officials became aware of the truck’s lengthy inactivity and decided that was no longer a viable option, Nienstedt said.

City officials and airport advisory board members currently are looking at another possible jet fuel truck to purchase that only has been inactive for about five months, Nienstedt said.

Aviation professionals familiar 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 at a recent city study session 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.

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