MONTROSE – County Manager Rick Eckert, who sits on the committee tasked with reviewing the two proposals for a possible second fixed-base operator at the Montrose Regional Airport, said Tuesday that the committee’s work is nearly finished.
Its recommendations to the Montrose Board of County Commissioners should come by the end of this week.
That announcement came during the public comment portion of a special meeting Tuesday where, once again, the commissioners were asked about the ongoing vetting process of possible fixed-based operators.
“It’s been 79 days since the proposals were received on Oct. 25,” said county resident Roger Brown. “Where are you at? What is going on?”
After inquiries from private business owners, according to a Nov. 22 Montrose County press release, the county released a request for proposal in August intended to gauge interest and to ensure that all FBO proposals met county guidelines.
After the RFP was released, with a Sept. 23 deadline, a committee made up of Airport Manager Lloyd Arnold, County Manager Rick Eckert, Road and Bridge Fleet Manager Dave Laursen and County Budget Manager Lanny Paulson convened and reviewed the proposals. The committee has offered no information whatsoever regarding its the review process.
Commissioner David White did say Tuesday that the commissioners have seen the proposals. “We have seen them,” White said, “but we have not been a part of the review – or whatever is coming.”
Eckert did say that the committee’s ongoing vetting process has included asking questions of those entities submitting FBO proposals.
“When we received the proposals, we let the commissioners know who submitted the proposals,” Eckert said. “This is no different from a road and bridge process. We have never had a complaint on that process. We take those proposals and addendums and questions that the proposers have, and then they go back out to all the proposers, depending on what questions are asked. It’s not a very quick process, but it's a complete process.
“We did that,” Eckert continued. “That’s where we are at. They are coming later this week, no later than Friday.
“We will have recommendations to commissioners hopefully this week,” Eckert said. He went on to emphasize that the committee has not been party to any negotiations with the two companies submitting FBO proposals, and any back-and-forth questioning is to determine whether “we have valid proposals or we do not.”
With the recommendations to the board of commissioners coming soon, Brown asked if a date has been set for there has been a meeting set, date certain, when the public will be able to see and hear what those recommendations to the commissioners are. So far, no public meeting has been set as the commissioners don’t yet know if they have valid proposals or not.
“It may be possible that neither of the proposals will make the mark,” said Commissioner Ron Henderson. “If and when one or two or both of them do present us a proposal, a time and date and public vetting of that will be made.”
Brown asked Henderson if that meant the the committee is indeed reviewing two proposals, whereupon Henderson suggested that Brown was jumping to conclusions.