Carbon County commissioners have voted to reverse a long-standing practice of granting only one lease for services at the county-owned Carbon County Airport.
For many years, Richard and Ardith Keppler have operated Carbon-Emery Aviation at the the airport. A controversy arose when Robert Olson applied for a lease to build a hangar. Olson said he would like to go into the business of buying and selling airplanes.At the commission meeting this week, Commission Chairman Bill Krompel said the county spends a considerable amount of money maintaining the airport, and granting additional leases might be a way to recover some of its costs.
Although the county voted to change its policy, Scott Johansen, an attorney representing Olson, said a sample lease prepared by the county is not satisfactory. He said the proposed lease was anti-competitive and discriminatory when compared to the one enjoyed by the Kepplers.
Krompel said Johansen and Deputy County Attorney John E. Schindler could discuss the proposed lease and arrive at a solution to the problem.
At an earlier commission meeting, Joane Pappas White, an attorney for the Kepplers, said a proposed lease to Olson would be in conflict with the existing lease to the Kepplers. White was unable to attend the Wednesday night commission meeting because of business in Salt Lake City.
At the earlier commission meeting, Johansen said the county has no minimum standards in place at airports and the denial of Olson's request for a lease could be in direct violation of the non-exclusive rights requirement in FAA regulations.