Headlines News

City of Atmore seeks airport operator proposals

News Staff Writer

City of Atmore officials have discovered, after years of technical non-compliance, that the person or company that operates Atmore Municipal Airport is subject to Alabama bid law.
The city placed an ad seeking “Operator of City of Atmore General Aviation Airport” in local newspapers this week, including in this edition of Atmore News, seeking sealed proposals from individuals who might be interested in running the local airfield.
Mayor Jim Staff said he hopes nobody will read anything into the search for an airfield operator, a position that has been held by Freddie McCall, doing business as Aviation Specialists, for the past five years.
“It has nothing to do with the person we have out there,” the mayor said. “He’s doing a good job. It’s just the law tells us we have to do it different.”
McCall is welcome to submit a proposal, as is any individual with the knowledge required to handle the job, Staff said.
City Clerk Becca Smith said the situation represents a legal obligation that apparently slipped through the cracks.
“Our lawyer told us (recently) we’re supposed to bid out that position,” said Smith, who has been in office for three decades. “I believe we’re supposed to bid it every three years, but I’m not sure on that. The city has never done this before, as far as I know.”
According to city records, McCall currently purchases aviation fuel and receives the proceeds from the sale of it. He also gets 75 percent of hangar rental fees.
The discovery that city officials had not been following all the rules regarding small airports reportedly came to light when lawyers were researching a lawsuit against the city airfield, a legal action based upon the airport’s refusal to allow commercial crop dusters to land and take off there.
Specifications for the position may be obtained at the City Clerk’s office Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day, or they can be downloaded from the city website, welcometoatmore.com.
Proposals may be hand-delivered to the city clerk, or mailed to City Clerk, 204 E. Louisville Avenue, Atmore, Alabama, 36502. Faxed proposals will not be accepted.
All proposals must be clearly and legibly marked “SEALED PROPOSAL,” and must contain the proposer’s name, the project name, and the opening date and time. All proposals will be opened in public at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, at the city hall complex.
For other requirements and restrictions, see the ad in this edition. For more information or for questions, call the city clerk at (251) 368-2253 or email beccas@cityofatmore.com.