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Airport board continues to examine city ordinance draft

Reviewing the proposed city code governing the Sunnyside Municipal Airport, advisory board member Gary Pira (L) and board Chairman Larry Dolan question some of the definitions set forth in the new code. The code, once adopted, will be the city’s first one to monitor airport use and management.

Reviewing the proposed city code governing the Sunnyside Municipal Airport, advisory board member Gary Pira (L) and board Chairman Larry Dolan question some of the definitions set forth in the new code. The code, once adopted, will be the city’s first one to monitor airport use and management. Photo by Julia Hart.

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Not wanting to make the city ordinance too restrictive while protecting the city from potential liability, the Sunnyside Municipal Airport Advisory Board continued its examination of Title 14, a proposed city ordinance governing the airport management during its meeting held last night, Tuesday.

Reminding the board that the ordinance is the law and not policy, Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci sought additional input from the advisory board regarding the city municipal code draft.

He said once the ordinance is fully reviewed and agreed upon by the advisory board, it will be reviewed over by the city’s legal advisors. Then the process to create the day to day airport policies will begin. “We really are not in a hurry to get this done,” he said.

“We do want it to be as encompassing a document as is possible before we take it to council.”

One of the issues included in the draft is the determination of who will be the manager of the airport and who will be in charge of overseeing the management of the airport’s use. At this point, until an airport manager is named all questions will be channeled through the city manager’s office, said Restucci.

Currently, advisory committee member Ted Durfey receives all the calls regarding fuel sales, since he handles those sales at the airport.

But determining the person who issues notices when the airport is not available was the question posed by board member Gary Pira.

“The person who is the city manager’s designee will be that person,” said Restucci, adding it is the city’s desire to hire an airport manager to fill that role as the use of the airfield continues to grow.

Unauthorized persons making use of the airport for illegal purposes is also among the items covered in the draft ordinance.

Durfey questioned the safety issues regarding the use of the airport and the private property that is stored at the airport.

“We need to have some sort of wording regarding the use of the airport facilities by questionable individuals,” he said.

Restucci agreed to look into that safety issue.

“We want to make sure the definitions are as clear as possible and understandable,” Restucci added.

Advisory Board Chairman Larry Dolan said the board will continue its review of the draft ordinance at its May meeting.

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