By J.W. Schnarr
There are no immediate plans to pave a small runway at the Municipal District of Taber Airport.
An inquiry by a leaseholder of one of the original hangers at the airport to have the small taxiway in front of his property paved was turned down by M.D. council during their regular meeting on Feb. 24.
During discussion, Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan commented on the unusual nature of the request, as the hangar is the only property facing east, away from the runway.
“This is a little unusual,” he said. “Mr. Cumming’s lot is set behind the terminal building and faces to the east. There’s a short taxi-way (that allows Cumming to have access to the main landing strip).”
“The issue of pavement is also tied into his concerns with what he is paying for rent,” he added.
The inquiry originated with a letter from Andy Cumming addressed to Brian Peers, Director of Municipal Lands and Leases, back at the beginning of February. Cumming stated he had been informed by another hangar owner that the M.D. was intending to pave the other taxiways serving hangars, and wondered about his own, which is gravel. He was supportive of the project but wished to remind council that his own property was one of the first built at the airport but his taxi-way has never been paved. He went on to say warm weather had caused his airplane to get stuck in the taxi-way but no damage had been caused.
“If there aren’t any current plans to pave the taxiway, I would formally like to request that the paving of this taxi-way be considered by the airport management committee,” he indicated.
“He just wants clarification, I guess,” said Peers. “More than anything, to know how (his taxes) are derived. This is a bit of a unique situation because of the (orientation of his property).”
Reeve Brian Brewin asked if what Cumming was paying was a fair rate, as his lot was not in alignment in with other lots. Krizsan replied he purchased the lot as is. Peers said the questions about the property came up recently when it was time to sign a new lease.
However, Peers questioned the claim by Cumming that his airplane was getting stuck on the taxiway.
“He claims he got stuck out there but you could drive your truck on it,” he said. “It’s a pretty hard base.”
“Ultimately the question is what’s fair,” said Krizsan. “That’s why this has come before council.”
“I think what he’s paying now is fair,” said Division 5 Coun. Bob Wallace. “If he wants to pave it, by all means.”
Following discussion, council decided to set Cumming’s tax rate and also to have paving of the taxiway looked at again at a later date.
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