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New fuel system gets 6-month try at city’s airport

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday approved a new fuel pricing planthat city airport officials say should help them better market thefacility.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the mayor and board, aldermenapproved a six-month trial period for a self-service fuel system.The plan calls for self-service fuel to be sold at 35 percent abovethe city’s purchase costs, and full-service fuel to be sold at 45percent about the city’s costs.

Paul Barnett, airport advisory board chairman, and board memberJohn Lynch said the Brookhaven airport’s fuel prices were “fairlyout of line” with those of other airports and low-price fuel wasthe only “carrot” Brookhaven could use to better market itsairport.

“It makes sense to try and get people to use our facility,”Lynch said, adding that the hoped-for higher volume of trafficwould be beneficial to the city.

A chart presented last night showed Brookhaven’s $2.55 a gallonprice for one type of fuel was 11 cents a gallon higher than thenext closest one. The city’s Jet A fuel price of $2.20 a gallon wasthird-highest among those listed.

Following Lynch’s presentation, Mayor Bill Godbold suggested theadvisory board develop a system for volume discounts for large fuelpurchasers.

Lynch and Barnett indicated the automated fuel service systemcould handle one-time large purchasers. However, there could beproblems giving the discount to those who have smaller tanks butfill up more frequently.

“That could be a challenge for us,” Barnett said.

Following further discussion, Godbold indicated that the airportboard was to do more study and come back.

However, Barnett and Lynch said they had studied the issue abouttwo months. They also urged quick action to allow airport officialsto take advantage of some upcoming air shows and marketingopportunities.

Aldermen approved the new fuel pricing system on a six-monthbasis.

“It’s not one sign in the sky and everybody comes here,” Barnettsaid about monitoring marketing efforts.

@Subhead:WAL-MART MONEY

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Also Tuesday, Wal-Mart Distribution Center Manager Brent Hintonpresented city officials with two checks totaling $1.028million.

The money represents the final payment bond issue payment andpayment of principal utilized when the distribution center wasbuilt in 1986. The money will go to the city’s Urban DevelopmentAction Grant (UDAG) account to further help economicdevelopment.

“We’ve certainly enjoyed the relationship we’ve had with thecity over the last 15 years and look forward to many more years ofservice,” Hinton said.

@Subhead:TRAVEL ACTION

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During other discussion, aldermen OK’d a policy that all citytravel must be approved prior to the activity.

Following Ward 4 Alderman Bob Massengill’s request, otheraldermen said they thought already was the policy but approved themotion anyway. Massengill said there was some questions raisedduring the last administration and his action would clarify anyfuture issues.

Godbold questioned procedures in an emergency situation.

“If an emergency arises, we could ratify that after the fact,”Massengill said.

In another travel-related matter, aldermen approved Godbold’srequest to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for use ofpersonal vehicles on city business to 36.5 cents a mile. The mayorsaid the state had increased the rate and asked the board to do thesame.

@Subhead:OTHER ACTIVITY

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In response to lingering solid waste concerns, Ward 1 AldermanDorsey Cameron asked the city seek requests for proposals fromsolid waste contractors in an effort to privatize cityservices.

However, Godbold said consultant Butch Lambert was to meet withthe board Thursday. The mayor suggested the board hear Lambert’srecommendations and then make a decision.

Aldermen at large Les Bumgarner indicated the city needs to actquickly.

“We’ve got to do something,” Bumgarner said.

With a deteriorating city barn, Massengill suggested the citylook into buying the speculative building and put city streetoperations there.

Godbold said that had been thought of earlier. Mentioning someother options, the mayor said funds from a land sale for mentalhealth crisis center should be earmarked to address city barnconcerns.

“Let’s put those people in a dry, safe place,” Godbold said.

Following a dispute over placement of a stop sign at DianneDrive and Dianne Street in the Halbert Heights area, TrafficSupervisor Jimmy Furlow said results of a door-to-door survey inthe area showed 38 in favor of the sign and 28 against it. Aldermenaccepted the survey results and voted to keep the sign inplace.