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Quincy, California
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June 23, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Plumas County Grand Jury Report Page 2 Plumas County Grand Jury Members 2009-2010 Bourquin, Charles, Chairperson ........ Hamilton Branch Brand, Richard ............................... Chester Dailey, Don ................................... Quincy Erickson, Paul, Chairperson .......... : ............ Clio Gill, Pamela, Foreperson ....................... Portola Hiltunen, Gary ................................ Chester Howe, Julien, Chairperson ................... Greenville Jesenka, Cheryl ............................... Chester Klemesrud, Eleanor. .......................... Graeagle Matthews, Anne ........................... Taylorsville Plopper, Charlie, Chairperson ......... Hamilton Branch Ramsey, Melody .............................. Chilcoot Salvato, Fred, Webmaster. ............. Hamilton Branch Scott, Carole, Foreperson Pro Tempore ........... Portola Scotti, Jerry, Chairperson ...................... Chester Sevier, Harlon ................................. Quincy Wann, Julie ......................... Hamilton Branch Wheeler, Linda, Chairperson .................. Blairsden Former members: Berry, Sonya .................................. Quincy Mike Quisenberry ........................... Blairsden Kennedy, Starra ............................... Quincy Windward, Stephen ............................ Quincy Grand Jury Committees Airport Animal Services Archive Conflict of Interest County Audit Editorial Review Economic Development Food Safety Grand Jury Manual Plumas County Correctional Facility (Jail) Stimulus Funding Structural Fire Management Water Resources 2009-2010 Grand Jury Celebrates Plumas County Airports' Success Specific Issue: Bestowed with-the High Quality Standard Award from Exxon Mobil Aviation and operating at a profit, airports in Plumas County serve as shining exam- ples of well-run county facilities. The county will benefit further with the addition of a new U. S. Forest Service Air Attack Base emergency response center at Nervino Airport in 2010. The county will gain rev- enues and the citizens will realize added forest fire protection. The airports are positioned for growth and the future looks promising. As the 2009-2010 Plumas County Grand Jury began to choose possible departments of our county govern- ment to investigate, a reading of the Grand Jury's investigation history revealed that our three air- ports: Rogers Field in Chester, Gansner Field in Quincy, and Nervino Airport in Beckwourth, had not been investigated in the past ten years. With our pre- sent difficult times, our airports should be accounted for in their role within the future growth and devel- opment of this county. Where are we and our air- ports going? What issues of safety, management, or finance are there that our residents of Plumas County ought to know? This became the purpose of our investigation. Summary of the investigation: We of the Grand Jury, by the examination of all per- tinent documentation, interviews and tours, found our Airport Department to be run efficiently by the combined teamwork of contract airport managers and the supervision of our Plumas County Director of Facility Services. For this brief summary, our claim of efficiency is found in that the Airport Department has operated with a budget that has been in the black every year. Findings and Recommendations:- Finding 1: For the 2008-2009 year, the Airport Department operated with a budget that ended with $5,391 in the black. At midyear this year, the airport budget is in the black by $7,783.19. We commend the Airport Department for maintaining a budget that allows our airfield to able to provide their services while not being any sort of financial burden on the people who live and pay taxes in our county. Recommendation I: The Board of Supervisors should continue to fund our airports as they have done in the past. Any operating surplus remaining in the budget should be reinvested in the airports for future growth and improvements. Finding 2: An inspection at our three airfields dur- ing January 2010 by Exxon Mobil Aviation examined the general facilities, personal and flight line safety, records and receipts, fuel documentation, and filtra- tion. One hundred and twelve quality control checks were performed in this inspection without any "dis- crepancy description or recommendations". The county facility at Gansner field was given a compli- ance rating of 90%. Rodgers Field and Nervino Airport received compliance ratings of 93% and 98% respectively. For this superior rating the Airport Department received Exxon Mobil's High Quality Standard Award. Recommendation 2: The Grand Jury recommends the airports continue to adhere to their high stan- dards of safety, service, and quality. We commend all three managers for their fine work, both in their offices and on the grounds throughout our airport facilities. This award would not have been given with- out the dedication of airport staff trained in the many procedures ensuring the safety of fuels and the flight line. Finding 3: During the summer of 2009, the Department of Transportation (DOT) made an inspection of the runways and surrounding airspace path of any aircraft at each of our airports. Critical issues were addressed in a timely manner. With the agreement of the DOT, items that were identified as not being critical safety issues will be corrected when funding from DOT becomes available. Recommendation 3: The Grand Jury encourages the Airport Department to continue their compliance with DOT standards. Background Information: Plumas County owns and operates three airports within the county. Rogers Field in Chester, Nervino Airport in Beckwourth, and Gansner Field in Quincy. All three airports handle the typical traffic of private planes, with Rogers Field and Nervino Airport able to land jet aircraft. Airport traffic oper- ates without control towers, but by the use of each pilot's own visual discretion and radio transmissions concerning their intent of takeoff or landing. Runway lights are controlled by radio transmission from the pilot. Fueling is self service, using a card lock system. Hangar and tie down facilities are avail- able at all three airports. Each hangar owner pays their own utilities and is responsible for any upkeep needed on their hangar. Rent is paid to the county for all hangars at a rate of 41 cents per square foot. Property tax and luxury tax is paid to the county each year at a rate of 1%. Charter and sightseeing flights and flight instruction is available at each air- port.,A light industrial aircraft repair business is operated at Nervino Airport. Rogers Field in Chester has a large building that houses the Chester Fire Department as well as the Chester Public Utilities District. Director of Facility Services The county's Director of Facilities Services also supervises the Airport Department. Seventeen per- cent of the Director of Facility Services' duties are devoted and budgeted for Airport operations. While supervising the two contract managers who oversee Rogers Field and Nervino Airport, he serves as manager for Gansner Field. Salary and benefits for the Director in his service to the air- ports is $21,001. Contract Managers Rogers Field and Nervino Airport are supervised by contract managers. These managers also have their own private air service business housed at their air- ports. Salary and benefits are $18,106. Each manager receives a benefit package and a PERS retirement. Additional income for the Chester manager comes through collecting one half of the profits from fuel sales and all of the tie down feeS. Managers are not exempt from paying rent on their hangars or any other fees paid by other pilots. Managers can utilize non-county employees they have hired and trained for airport duties at their own expense. Duties of man- agers are (some duties may be particular to a given airport and not another): • Maintain safe, obstruction-free airport grounds • Perform fuel testing • Snow removal (estimated time is two hours for every inch of snow) • Refueling air attack aircraft • Maintaining runway lights and beacon • Monitor use of Unicorn (radio frequency airport auto lighting) • Availability for FAA or DOT inspections • Record keeping County Owned and Operated Airports 1. Gansner Field, Quincy Runway length: 4,125 feet Future Airport Improvements Plan by year: • 2011--Reseal Pavement, paint airfield markings • 2012--Tee hangar site development, three 5 unit buildings • 2015--Replace 4 unit tee hangar building • 2017--Jet fuel tank dispenser 2. Rogers Field, Chester Runway length: 5,100 feet with 6,000 feet possible Chester houses anair attack base operated by the U. S. Forest Service. Future Airport Improvement Plans by year: • 2011-2012--Develop east hangar area, including 3ccess road • 2013--Extend taxiway A to end of pavement (35' X 1,000') • 2014-Reconstruct tee hangar Taxiways (4 @ 60' X 450') • 2017 New Snow Plow Vehicle