Biz Buzz: Weyrich gives up control of jet fuel

Paso Robles businessman David Weyrich will no longer have control over the Paso Robles Jet Center’s fuel services after his lease is over in September, according to a settlement he signed with the city of Paso Robles on Monday.

The Jet Center sells fuel to CHP helicopters, firefighting tankers, military aircraft and private jets and airplanes.

The city will now solicit bids from other airport fuel vendors to take over the center’s operations starting Sept. 9, according to the settlement.

Weyrich, a multimillion-dollar investor in real estate, wineries, hotels and a jet charter service, has been in severe financial distress for more than a year.

A month ago he lost many of his key properties to foreclosure and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and federal back taxes.

Although he had not missed paying his $11,600 monthly rent at the airport, he has had trouble providing minimum services, including keeping adequate fuel levels and a self-service station in operation at the airport.

And the city sought to evict him in January. Weyrich, however, had insisted he had complied with all the requirements of his leases and refused to leave the premises.

The city continued to express concern that a lack of fuel would endanger the public, because Cal Fire uses the airport as a firefighting base. The agency had requested the city provide assurances that the airport would have adequate supplies of both aviation gas and jet fuel during the 2010 fire season, which starts May 1, or it must base its firefighters at another airport, the settlement states.

Weyrich has guaranteed he will not go under a minimum of 7,000 gallons each of aviation gas and jet fuel, or default on any of the city’s other requirements, such as keeping his state Board of Equalization taxes current, maintaining two underground fuel tanks and adequate staff, paying his rent, and complying with a Chevron Corp. request to pay for his fuel in advance.

If he is unable to comply with the city’s requirements, he has agreed to allow another vendor to take over the service immediately, the settlement said.

Weyrich could not be reached for comment. However, the settlement states that he desired to continue to remain as a tenant at the airport and he was willing to provide all the necessary assurances as requested in the settlement by the city.

— Melanie Cleveland

Poly prof lauded at erosion conference

Cal Poly professor Brent Hallock received the Presenter of the Year Award at the 41st conference and expo of the International Erosion Control Association held recently in Reno, Nev.

The award recognizes an outstanding presenter who demonstrates excellence in presentation skills, educational delivery and content preparation. Hallock received the award for his course Principles and Practices for Using Vegetation to Prevent Erosion.

Hallock teaches an undergraduate course in soil erosion and water conservation, an upper division course in range land resources and a graduate course in environmental assessment for erosion control. He has been with Cal Poly since 1979.

During his tenure, Hallock has taught more than 35 seminars and short courses on site analysis, erosion control and selection of management measures.

— Melanie Cleveland