Kalispell is accepting proposals from companies interested in managing its general aviation airport.
Proposals will be accepted by the Kalispell city clerk until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.
City officials agreed to explore privatizing the airport’s management to look for cost savings. Savings could help pay for maintenance or improvements at Kalispell City Airport, City Manager Doug Russell said.
“It’s an area where we may be able to find significant savings that could be applied back to the airport for asphalt overlays and other things of that nature. We may get some people interested in it, we may not. We won’t know until we look,” Russell told members of the Airport Advisory Board at their meeting last month.
Fred Leistiko has managed Kalispell City Airport as a half-time city employee since 2005. He is paid a $35,000 salary. Health insurance and retirement costs and the cost of seasonal help push the total cost of personnel services at the airport to $48,172 a year, according to budget documents.
Kalispell City Airport and its dedicated enterprise fund will face future maintenance costs regardless of whether Kalispell voters uphold or reject the City Council’s decision to pursue an airport upgrade through the federal Airport Improvement Program.
A draft scope of services in the request for proposals seeks an airport manager to:
√ Notify the city of needed maintenance and repairs and provide daily inspection of runway, apron and taxiway surfaces and lighting and navigational aid systems;
√ Provide communication services for pilots;
√ Comply with and enforce applicable regulations and airport standards and report violations of ordinances, policies or rules regulating use of the airport to the city;
√ Communicate with the city and Federal Aviation Administration if necessary about on-field conditions that affect safe use of the airport;
√ Provide personnel to meet the needs of the airport and flying public, including emergency and off-hour personnel;
√ Work with the city on planning, budgeting and development of airport facility modifications and improvements;
√ Provide customer service to airport users and the flying public;
√ Provide snow removal services for the runway, apron and taxiway and mowing, haying and weed services for the airport grounds.
A five-member committee will evaluate proposals and may select up to three finalists for interviews in October. Proposals will be scored based on a number of factors, including the company’s relevant experience and qualifications and proposed fees and charges.
Any airport management contract would have to be approved by the Kalispell City Council.
More information about the request for proposals is available from the city clerk at Kalispell City Hall or online at http://kalispell.com/clerk/projects_open.php.