Thursday, June 24, 2021

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Colusa County Airport management out of Ag Department

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 27 completed the transition of the Colusa County Airport’s management out of the Agricultural Commissioner’s office.

After 40 years of being managed by the Agricultural Commissioner, the board has opted to divide the responsibility of airport operation and land use activities between two county departments.

The Colusa County Public Works Department will manage the basic operations of the local airport, possibly with help from the county’s private aviation club. The Community Development Department will have oversight over land use issues and development in and around the airport.

County officials believe dividing general operations from land use issues will best serve the public, given the increasing development near the airport in recent years.

Officials said it has been the Board’s plan for some time to transition the management of the airport, and started first with the recent formalization of the Airport Advisory Committee into a functional seven-member board. The committee also serves as the Colusa County Airport Land Use Commission.

Colusa County Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler said the transition had stalled in recent weeks, following the resignation of Agriculture Commissioner Greg Hinton, but it was imperative to make the transition complete before they recruit Hinton’s replacement, as the job description and job duties would change.

Public Works, headed by Director Michael Azevedo, will manage airport facility operations, such as ensuring fuel is ordered, collecting lease and tie down payments, performing inspections, etc.

Community Development, headed by Director Greg Plucker, will be responsible for statutory land use planning matters and development.

Both departments will work with the Airport Advisory Committee/Airport Land Use Commission.

“It benefits the commission, the county, and project applicants to have the land use planning functions really handled by someone that has land use planning expertise,” Tyler said.

The board has already taken action to modify compensation for those involved, and the transition may also include the addition of new or reassigned clerical staff.

Once the two departments have had the opportunity to assume the workload (with or without the private group’s involvement), they will be able to best determine what staffing issues arise, Tyler said.

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