March 16, 2006



PRESENT:       Siemer, Bergstein, Janson, Pollack


EXCUSED:      Woodruff


OTHERS:        Approximately 15 were in attendance.


REPORTED BY:  Bradd Maki                                   


Commissioner Pollack called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.


Commissioner Pollack requested that the agenda be revised to include status report on the Runway 18/36 reconstruction project, rules for non-commercial activities, and vacancies. 


The minutes of the regular January 10, 2006 meeting was received and reviewed.  It was moved by Bergstein and supported by Janson “to approve and file the minutes of the January 10, 2006.”   Approved (4/0).   


The Monthly Manager’s Report Summaries for November and December 2005 was presented and reviewed.  Comparisons were made with the same time period the previous year.  Pertinent information was provided in the Commission packets.  There were 34 good flying days and 25 poor flying days for January and February 2006.  Movements were down from a year ago during the same time period primarily due to adverse weather such as high winds and the recent ice storm.  Fuel sales were up in this 2-month period from a year ago.  Pollack indicated that he was pleased to see that the total movements on Runway 18/36 were down which reflects that users of the airport are aware and sensitive to noise in residential areas.




1.      Status of Runway 18/36 Project:  Maki indicated that the design plans are completed and sent to the Michigan Bureau of Aeronautics (MBOA).  MBOA will advertise for bids by early May for a June letting and a July construction start. 

2.      Airport Rules for Non-Commercial Activities:  Janson proposed that the general rules be posted.  Pollack indicated that rules should be shown as “Proposed” until City Council has a chance to approve the rules.  It was also suggested that the current rules should be located next to the proposed rules.  Motion on the floor was to “post rules and make copies available for review and approval at the next meeting.”  Siemer seconded.  Bergstein indicated that there may be the need for another meeting regarding the rules.  This will be reviewed by the Airport Manager.




1.      Airport Services Contract:  McManus summarized request by commission to review the services contract and open the contract to bids.  On March 7, 2006 bids were opened with Steven’s Aviation Services (current contract holder) as the low bid of $64,000, followed by Quality Aviation Services.  Other bids were Dave Schmelzer at $74,000, Gateway Aviation at $75,000, and Flymore Extended at $78,000.  A review committee comprised of City and airport representatives was used to determine a contractor that would best serve the needs of the City using the following general weighted categories:  Understanding of Duties; Qualifications and Experience; Price Proposal; Promotion of the Airport; and the formal Interview.  Each team member independently reviewed the proposals.  Each respondent was granted a panel interview.  It was determined that Quality Aviation Services out of Hastings, Michigan would best meet the needs of the City.  McManus provided some reasons for the selection.


Discussion ensued.  McManus indicated that the selection has a good knowledge of airport activities and specifics about Barstow Airport.  Bergstein indicated that the City would get more of a share of gasoline.  McManus indicated a new formula used for gasoline sales would allow the City to obtain a greater share, but the contractor could get a higher percentage as sales increase.


Siemer indicated if there was an AWOS, could there be a reduction in use of the UNICOM system.  Janson indicated that the pilot would gain the weather component and there would be a reduction in use, but the UNICOM is still needed for such conditions as deer on the field or icy runways.  Also low weather conditions could present touch and go situations.


The contract is set-up for a one year with option years.  The contract could have renegotiating tactics.  Siemer asked whether the selection was retaining services at Hastings.  McManus indicated yes, but that the contractor intends to move here and will have primary focus on Barstow.  Janson added that Hastings would be secondary.  Janson moved and Siemer seconded a motion to “accept the contract”.


Related comments were opened-up to the public.  Several meeting attendees spoke.  Concern was raised about availability of tenants at the airport, arrangement of transportation, distance from other facility and related absence from the airport, focus on cost and not safety. 


The commission reiterated that the intent was for the contractor to move here and make Barstow the primary focus.  Also, money is only one factor, along with safety and service.  Janson indicated he was impressed by the selection in these areas and how he wanted to work on aesthetics of the airport as well.  Jason indicated that all candidates came across very well, but the selected contractor stood out.  McManus added that City Council was looking to “test the water” and make sure subsidy was in check and that closing the airport is not an issue.  Reducing costs is a good thing.  Siemer commended the selection committee for a timely and professional review.  Approved (4/0).


Bergstein added that he didn’t feel any decisions were made that compromised safety for dollars and that he thinks the commission is acting in this regard.  Pollack indicated Janson chairs the Community Outreach Committee and that the new contract operator will be part of the committee.  Pollack expressed gratitude to the selection committee.  Janson added that the comment that impressed him about the selection was that even though qualified, he was not interested in being an F.B.O. and wants to focus on airport services.


2.      Commission Vacancies:  Potential commission vacancies for Siemer, Janson, and Woodruff were addressed.  The need was mentioned to fulfill unexpired terms and that the process will run through Council.  All have applied to continue on the commission.  Related action will be taken at the next Council meeting.  Pollack added that others interested should express it at the upcoming Council meeting.      




It was mentioned that airport rules could be acted on at a special meeting.  It was mentioned to post the proposed rules and bring to the next meeting.  This will be reviewed by the Airport Manager.


Meeting was adjourned at 5:47 p.m.