Pulaski County Commissioners, Council Discuss Airport Concerns

 The Pulaski County Commissioners and Pulaski County Council members met in joint session to clarify some questions that have arisen concerning the airport.

The issues that the council members discussed during their meeting last week was if Airport Manager Bud Wagner’s position with the county needs to be full time and about the revenue coming into the airport.

Councilman Ron Powers had asked if Wagner could be a part time employee instead. He commented that there isn’t any revenue coming into the airport to help support his salary.

Jason Bunger from Novotny Insurance reminded the governing bodies that Wagner was in essence a contractor at the airport and had to be hired as an employee for liability reasons but didn’t specify if he had to be hired on full-time.

The commissioners had gotten the recommendation to hire Wagner full-time based on the information that he provided the county attorney Kevin Tankersley. In the previously held joint meeting, Tankersley reported that he had asked Wagner what hours he worked at the airport that supported the commissioners’ decision to make Wagner a full-time employee. Tankersley said Wagner worked at least 35-40 hours a week at the airport. Figures for his salary were then based on what he was getting paid at the time and presented it for approval.

Members of the airport board explained that Wagner needs to be there at least once a day so daily runway inspections can be done as required by statute. If the county wants to pay for a card system for pilots to refuel, that’s an option.

Other liability issues were discussed concerning people who volunteer time at the airport and fueling. Tankersley will be drawing up acknowledgment of liability documents for signatures.

No formal decisions were made by either the commissioners or the council members. For now, Bud Wagner remains as the full-time airport manager at Arens Field.