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Plans for Potsdam jet fuel pump delayed

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POTSDAM — Plans to install a jet fuel pump at the Potsdam Airport have been delayed because no contractors responded to the village’s request for proposals.

The village Board of Trustees decided in August to install the jet fuel pump, which is expected to cost about $60,000, in order to sell the fuel at a 15 percent markup.

Once the pump is installed, Lifenet Helicopters, which run on jet fuel and are based at the airport, will become regular customers. Other planes that regularly visit the airport also use jet fuel.

“There are aircraft that go through every day that use it,” said Village Administrator David H. Fenton.

The pump stands to turn a profit for Potsdam, once it finally gets installed. It may also allow the airport to expand its services by adding another hangar.

However, nobody responded to the village’s call for contractors able to do the work.

The reason, according to Mr. Fenton, is that contractors are just too busy.

“For some reason, there is a lot of fuel tank activity out there right now,” he said. It will likely be several months before a contractor can be found and the pump can be installed.

In the meantime, the Lifenet helicopters will continue to fill up in Massena, Ogdensburg and Burlington, Vt.

“We’ll make it work somehow,” Mr. Fenton said.

Lifenet helicopters have been responding to medical emergency calls since opening a station in Potsdam in October.

“They have a steady number of callers, they really like the facilities, and I think they’re really trying to make a go of this,” Mr. Fenton said.

Cape Air’s planes also regularly use the Potsdam airport and would be likely jet fuel customers.

In other business, the village board reappointed Trustee Reinhold J. Tischler as deputy mayor and Margaret Garner as village justice.

Tuesday night marked the village’s annual organizational meeting. The board re-appointed several people to various government positions and set meeting dates for 2013.

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