(SEYMOUR) - Seymour Municipal Airport Authority has taken steps to start selling fuel to pilots flying in and out of Freeman Field. (TRIBTOWN)
After ongoing negotiations with Pardieck Aviation, the airport's former fuel station operator, the board reached a tentative agreement Monday to buy Pardieck Aviation's tanks and pumps as well as the fuel to operate its own fuel farm.
The issue has been contentious, with both sides coming back with different offers.
Airport manager Don Furlow said Tuesday it was a disservice to pilots to not have fuel available.
"They weren't open when people came," Furlow said of Pardieck Aviation. "We tried to get them to stay open, but he (owner Gregg Pardieck) didn't want to do it, and we decided we needed to have fuel on the field."
Diane Schepman, airport administrative assistant, said Pardieck's fixed base operator license from the Federal Aviation Administration had been revoked and that the airport had put up a notice in October that fuel was no longer available.
Authority board member Scott Davis voted against the deal, saying he would rather see the airport create its own fueling service instead of purchasing Pardieck's equipment.
"I feel we have exhausted all avenues and have been dealing with this long enough," Davis said.
"If we build our own, we could be digging and putting fuel tanks in tomorrow."
But authority board member Dr. William Blaisdell said it would be quicker to try to work out a deal with Pardieck Aviation to purchase the existing equipment.
"We've got to get fuel on this field for our pilots," Blaisdell, a longtime pilot himself, said Monday night.
Under the motion made Monday by Blaisdell, the airport will pay $90,000 for the fuel farm and a $10,000 payment on the remaining 4,000 gallons of jet fuel.
"Then we will look at the invoices on the fuel and determine how much additional we would want to pay," Furlow said.
Once the airport takes control of the fuel farm, Furlow said, improvements will need to be made, but that it could possibly be available to pilots in 30 to 45 days.
"We will have to update to the latest technology, but we are hoping it will be a good move," Furlow said.
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