ISAS Board Meeting

October 10, 2011


The meeting was called to order by President Ken at 7:00 PM. Present were: Gary Van Horn, Dave Martin, Robert English, Ken Hardwick, Andy Andersen, John Horn, Norm Rainey, Jerry Pryce, Dave Thiel, Deborah Plymate, Mark Matthews and Roger Weber.  There were approximately 45 guests including Gary Gentemann (the owner of the property adjacent to 7S5) and Mitch Swecker of the ODA.


Before the meeting got started, at the request of President Ken, Gary Gentemann addressed the audience amd gave a brief history of the property that he and his sister have owned for many decades.  He dispelled some rumors that had circulated over the years about what plans he may have had for the property.  Bringing us up to date, he mentioned updates to the City's master plan and that the FAA had at one point supported the acquisition of the 41.1 acre parcel immediately west of the runway.  Budgeting priorities have changed the timetable though not the intention to make this property part of Independence Airport.  He said he was going to market the property for the purpose of airport development and needed to look at who might be interested in actually buying it since time is getting short for both Gary and his sister.  He handed out copies of a letter to the audience members gathered here, a letter which asks who might be interested in purchasing it. 


John Brose, Gary Gentemann’s agent, got up and clarified further about what the current uses of the land are and what they hope to accomplish by marketing the land now.  He said that there has never been any adversarial relationship with the ODA, but time is not on the side of the current landowners.  He said he understands that the airport is a going concern and the best use of the land would be for the expansion of 7S5. 


Gary answered some questions from the floor, one of which concerned the fact that the original land for the airport was donated and asked if he had looked into the possible advantages of doing the same with his parcel. He said he had looked into a trust for it, and did not find it compatible with their plans. He was also asked what the current price of  the land is, and he said that the 43 acre parcel next to the 41.1 acres is currently listed at $66,000 per acre.  He then handed out his letter to the gathered audience, saying he appreciated any comments that anyone might have.  President Ken allowed a 5-minute recess for people to ask private questions to either Gary or John.


After Ken did a roll call, he announced we had a quorum and the meeting could proceed.  He then introduced Mitch Swecker, who first thanked Gary Gentemann for showing up and speaking this evening.  Mitch also said that the appraisal of that 41.1 acre parcel came in at 2.2 Million dollars two years ago, and that put a stop to all negotiations since that was way above what the FAA or the ODA was willing to pay.  He then went on to say that there were industrial possibilities including a runway long enough for jets and TTF industrial (which is still legal).  Mitch then addressed the possibility of a grass runway adjacent to the current paved one: he said there was a grass runway at the Aurora airport and even though it is illegal for some airplanes to land on it pilots do it anyway.  Mitch proposed that representatives of ISAS and the ODA walk that section where the runway would be and discuss ways to risk-manage it.  He then went on to say that he was not opposed to any development that would improve the function and pride of ownership of 7S5, and solicited the involvement of a volunteer to be contracted to maintain this grass runway (that person would have to use their own equipment and insure themselves).


Moving on, Mitch brought up the subject of the airport frequency.  He noted that three airports in the vicinity all use the 122.8 frequency, and the audience brought up two other airports that come in loud and clear.  Mitch said that he would put that request into the FCC, and could not guarantee what their response would be, but that he would work on it.  One other subject came up, that being a new gate to separate the auto traffic from airplane taxiways.  A keypad-activated electric model is a good possibility. There is also a need for gates at the south entrances, and Mitch said he would look into it, not making a promise but he would see what he could do.  Over at the ODA, a new airports manager is in the process of being hired, and a construction projects manager is being hired as well.  Testimony before State legislative committees to keep the ODA from being re-absorbed into ODOT is ongoing, and Mitch anticipated having to do that every quarter.  He thanked the audience for attending, and the Board thanked him for coming to speak.


Gary Van Horn gave a brief update to the TTF situation, saying that the FAA reauthorization bill was still alive in committee review. The language, as it stands now, says that the FAA cannot use the existence of residential TTF agreement as evidence of non-compliance for grant assurances.


SECRETARY: Reviewing the minutes of the July meeting, the word "more" needs to be removed from the first paragraph of “new business,” but that was all.  Andy Andersen moved that the minutes be accepted as corrected, and Gary Van Horn seconded. All approved by voice vote.


TREASURER: The treasury amount is still the same, $42.83.


NEW BUSINESS: Ken reiterated Mitch's request for a volunteer that would help to maintain a grass runway, to come up and give their name after the meeting is over.  Several people did sign up after the meeting ended.


None of the sub-groups had anything new to report. 


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Dave Martin spoke on behalf of the OPA about the pancake breakfast and balloon ride, saying it was a great success despite lower attendance numbers than last year.  Dave also announced that the upcoming OPA quarterly meeting, to be held on November 13, would be held here at the EAA hangar at 1 PM.  It would be open to the public.  Andy spoke about the OFF's upcoming bi-annual proficiency test to be held here, dates to be announced.  There was also an announcement about the Antique Airplane Association to be held at Lebanon on the 22nd of October.  Ken announced that the ODA will be holding their regular business meeting at the Portland Airport on October 27th. 


ADJOURNMENT: President Ken adjourned the meeting at 8:01 PM.  The next ISAS meeting is to be on January 9 of 2012 at the EAA hangar.


After the meeting, several folks signed up to be part of the “grass runway committee” here at Independence: Brian Dalton, Paul Sieber, Robin Reid, Jerry Pryce, Dave Martin, and Jim Hubele.


Respectfully submitted by Robert English, secretary.