Kremmling Airport operator fires employee to resolve conflict with county

The Kremmling Airport at McElroy Field is co-owned by Grand County and the town of Kremmling.
Sky-Hi News file photo

Following a notice of breach of lease from Grand County Commissioners, the fix-based operator at the Kremmling Airport has removed an employee to resolve the issue.

Three weeks ago, county commissioners and Kremmling’s mayor sent a letter to Jim Ward of Alpine Wings related to the Kremmling Airport, which is co-owned by the county and Kremmling. The letter expressed apprehension over the behavior of a fueling operations employee who serviced a Flight For Life and EMS crew that landed in Kremmling on July 20.

Ward apologized for the incident in his response to the Grand County Commissioners and Kremmling Mayor Grover Pryor. He added that he personally called the director of nursing at Middle Park Health-Kremmling to apologize.

“When I found out what happened, I was surprised, shocked and appalled,” Ward said in the letter. “You cannot imagine my embarrassment.”

The county’s assistant manager and Ward previously declined to comment on the specific details of what occurred.

In the initial letter from the county, it seemed that though the employee involved in the incident had been removed from direct contact with the public, he was still employed by Alpine Wings. In his response letter, Ward said the employee was fired.

He said the worker, who was employed there for six years, had been a good and reliable employee up until that point.

“I am at a loss to explain his conduct,” Ward added.

The commissioners said on Tuesday that removing the employee was sufficient to cure the breach of lease.

As the fix-based operator for Kremmling Airport, Alpine Wings provides services such as fueling, hangaring and other facilities, in addition to operating at the airport.

The lease and operating agreement that the county has with Alpine Wings is set to expire April 1. In Ward’s response letter and at the meeting, he asked if an earlier release might be possible.

“As you may know, I have — for the most part — retired and have a home out of state,” Ward said. “At the same time, I do not wish to leave the airport, the county and the town in a bind.”

Ward said he would like the contract to end Dec. 31 if possible. The county agreed to look into an earlier release.

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