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Cottonwood approves ordinance for airport

— After months of discussion on plans to prevent and cope with chemical spills at the Cottonwood Municipal Airport, the city council finally passed an ordinance at its Monday, Dec. 12, meeting. The ordinance outlines fueling procedures, liability and permit requirements.

The ordinance states any fueling, transferring and storing of fuels or chemicals at the airport must comply with all laws and regulations. It also makes allowances for the city to recover damages from individuals who spill or dump chemicals at the airport.

Section Two of the ordinance states the city has the authority to require permits for anyone engaging in aerial spraying or other chemical operations from the airport.

The next step in the process for the city will be to define the permits and fees.

“If we approve this right now and never get around to assigning the permits, then this is still on the books?” asked council member Jack Duman.

City Attorney Joe Wright affirmed that and the members moved to pass the ordinance into law.

In other action, Joel Wasem, manager of the Cottonwood CHS Primeland, has requested information regarding how sewer rates are calculated. City Clerk Carol Altman said the city calculates the business rates based on an average of the previous year’s water usage during March, April and May. She also noted this has been the procedure the city has followed for more than 16 years.

Wasem stated in a letter to the city, the Primeland Grangeville site is billed based on an average of January, February and March of the previous year. He would prefer Cottonwood follow that calculation with the Cottonwood site.

Wasem was unable to attend the meeting.

City council member Jack Duman said, “If we make an exception for them, we have to make an exception for everyone.”

“We need to have some uniformity to it. I don’t see a rational for making an exception on this,” said council member Ron Grant.

Mayor Shelli Schumacher asked Altman to present some numbers reflecting sewer usage during the months in question.

“We have to remember we want to keep businesses in town,” she said.

Other agenda items:

  • Announced medical policy for city employees was waived. This completes requirements to comply with Voluntary Employee’s Beneficiary Association (VEBA) for 2016.
  • Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Cottonwood Police Department. Police Chief Terry Cochran said the agreement allows Jason Rambo to patrol on BLM land.
  • Set meeting schedule for 2017. The council will continue to meet at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month. There is one exception in the month of October when they will meet the second Tuesday.
  • The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Cottonwood Community Hall. The council meets in the basement.


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