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Fuel location trouble hits M.D. airport

Posted on July 14, 2016 by Vauxhall Advance

Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance
njamieson@tabertimes.com

With the new expansion to the M.D. of Taber airport, the Municipal District of Taber council now has to worry about how to fuel the planes.

During their regular meeting on June 28, M.D. of Taber council inquired of Brian Peers, director of municipal lands and leases for the M.D., on the status of the fuel tanks at the M.D. of Taber airport.

The M.D. has recently expanded the airport to accommodate more hangers and bigger planes. However, they now have to move the fuel tank at the airport, because their location has been deemed to be too close to the buildings, and therefore are a fire risk.

“We got to do something about the fuel,” said Dwight Tolton, M.D. councillor. “Forget the airport, this thing is going to be what blows the whole operation.”

Peers has been quoted $9,032.79 to move the tanks ($7,053.75 for Horizon Contractors, gravel base and concrete pad; $809.04 for Rivers Electric, electrical connection, three tanks; $570 for Big Boom Picker and Oilfield Service; $600 for Riverbend Rock Products Concrete barriers).

The M.D. is still deciding who would be responsible for the fuel, with Peers noting that some users do not want to take on the responsibility, due to the cost of running key-lock system for the tanks.

“Regardless of who takes it on, we still have to move them, because where they are now, they are inoperable because of the fire codes,” said Peers. “They are too close to the buildings.”

Additionally, Peers said that while one user might let others use their fuel if they cover the cost, they could run into the problem of planes coming into the M.D. thinking there is fuel available when that is not the case, and having to track down the individual users to refuel.

“If we’re expanding the airport with all those lots, we got to come up with something,” said Peers.

“We’ve built these new lots, and we’re trying to expand,” said Merrill Harris, M.D. councillor. “And one of the services that goes along with that is fuel.”

All three fuel tanks at the airport currently are privately owned. Peers said the airport does not plan on stocking fuel, and are making a deal with the tank owners to take them over.

The M.D. will license the tanks through Alberta Tank Management, relocate them, insure and inspect the tanks, and lease it back to the airport users, who will then be responsible for the fuel.

As council would like to see some more examples on how other similar airports deal with their fuel, council approved a motion to proceed with the move and to have Peers do some research into other airport’s fuel handling, although Reeve Brian Brewin did ask that they not look at too fancy an example for fuel management.

“We’re looking for a Chevy, not a Cadillac,” said Brewin.

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