Work begins to find new airport manager

Gliders ready for launch at Minden-Tahoe Airport in this photo taken by Minden tow pilot Dan Flynn.

Gliders ready for launch at Minden-Tahoe Airport in this photo taken by Minden tow pilot Dan Flynn.

Two members of the Airport Advisory Committee will represent the panel in connection with the search for new management for the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

On Monday, Airport Advisory Committee members Keith Richter and Deborah Rothchild volunteered to join a panel to review applicants.

County Manager Patrick Cates told the committee that proposals would remain confidential until one was selected and approved.

“I don’t want to say anything on the record that would advantage or disadvantage any potential bidder,” he said.

Cates said putting the airport management up for bid was one of the goals set in his evaluation a year ago, before a lot of the issues that airport users raised last fall.

“I want to be really clear that the intent of the RFP was to be good stewards of public funds,” he said. “It is in no way directed at ABS or any performance they’ve had during that time period. They’ve done a lot for the county over the years.”

He said the workload for the technical panel depends on the number of bids the county receives by the April 11 deadline.

“It could be one bid, or it could be 20,” he said.

The Record-Courier broke the news last week that ABS issued 90-day notice to the county it was terminating its contract.

Airport management has been criticized by users for closing a bathroom on the west side of the airport. On Monday, Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said that two additional portable restrooms have been set up since the closure, for a total of four. The closed bathrooms belonged to Blue Sky Condos which had an agreement that airport staff would stock and clean them.

Difficulties providing people to do that, prompted the airport to withdraw from the agreement and the bathrooms were closed to the public.

Thompson said ABS has sought funding to remodel the terminal building at the airport, but that is a low priority for the FAA.

“We’re certainly aware of issues,” she said. “We know it’s not ADA accessible. It’s 1950s style and has electrical and plumbing issues. Hopefully someone will be able to find some money for that.”


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