MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION

 

August 17, 2006

 

MINUTES

                                                                           

The meeting was held in the Airport Commission Board Room, 8600 Garfield Road, Freeland, Michigan 48623.  Chairman Eugene Gwizdala called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.  Roll was called by Debbie Meisel.

 

 

COMMISSIONERS

 

Present                            Absent & Excused        Staff                       Other     

Patrick H. Beson             Wilmer Jones-Ham       Jeff Nagel               Angela Osmond, TSA

George J. Biltz                                                     A. T. Lippert          Rich Bostwick, NWA

Kenneth W. Distler                                              Ryan Riesinger  John Palen, Midland Issues

Darnell Earley                                                      Debbie Meisel       Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News

Brian K. Elder                                                                                                                          

Eugene F. Gwizdala                                                                          

Jon Lynch                                                           

Hollis H. McKeag                                              

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

 

WELCOME NEW MIDLAND COMMISSIONER:  Chairman Gwizdala asked Mr. McKeag to introduce the new commissioner from Midland.  Mr. McKeag introduced Jon Lynch who replaced Karl Tomion as City Manager.  Mr. Lynch was the Planning Director in Midland prior to this appointment.

 

CLOSED SESSION:  Mr. Lippert suggested that the Board go into closed session following New Business to discuss more detail with the land acquisition.    

 

MINUTES:  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on July 20, 2006.  Mr. Elder seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

 

JULY 2006 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Mr. Beson made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the July Payroll Account Check Numbers 82478-82545, void check numbers 82501-82508; the July Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 36771-36831, void check numbers 36748, 36813, and 36815; and the July Cash and Investment Summary.  Mr. Elder seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.  Discussion took place regarding the Northwest bankruptcy and the outstanding balance.  Mr. Nagel stated a claim has been filed in accordance with the bankruptcy procedure claiming the balance due.  Mr. Lippert stated that he had checked the record filed with the bankruptcy court; there is no contest regarding the money owed.  The airport is protected but needs to wait until NWA emerges from bankruptcy.  If NWA would file Chapter 13, which has not been talked about, the debt would disappear.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:  None

 

COMMONWEALTH ASSOCIATES UPDATE:  Mr. Nagel stated that Commonwealth was hired in February to assist with the purchase of the property to the north of the airport.  A brief summary regarding the property purchase was discussed.

 

·        Purchase of this property is a prudent step regardless of the conclusion of the terminal project.  The property may be used for terminal development, other aviation development or simply runway/airspace protection.  The purchase of this property has been discussed since prior to 2000.

·        The property would be paid for with local money then reimbursed with a federal grant.  This purchase was not included in the 2006 Budget.  At the time we prepared the budget we had not even begun the process of hiring a consultant.  A budget adjustment would be required prior to the purchase.  This was reviewed and approved by our auditors.

·        The purchase is included in our approved five-year Capital Improvement Program which indicates both the state and the FAA are aware of our plans to purchase the property.

·        At the October 2005 meeting, the commission approved the process to hire a consultant to assist with this purchase.

·        In November of 2005, the selection process began.

·        In February of 2006, the commission approved a contract with Commonwealth.

·        That contract included:
-   Interviews with owner
-   Appraisal
-   Appraisal review
-   Relocation determination
-   Cultural resources review and field assessment
-   Wetland delineation
-   Threatened and Endangered Species Report
-   Phase I Environmental Study

·         The following are the highlights of the work-to-date:

-      The owner understands that MBS wants/needs the property.

-      The cultural review recommended that no additional Phase I studies need to be conducted and that the buildings lack historical or architectural integrity for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

-      The Wetland Study found five areas of wetlands.  Since federal monies are involved in our project, all wetlands regardless of size would be subject to federal regulation, which could require mitigation.

-      The Threatened and Endangered Species Study determined that the property is in the breeding area for the Indiana Bat.  Additional study would be recommended during the environmental review for the terminal.

OLD BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel reported that TSA is evaluating all comments received from airports and will provide a written response regarding the monitoring of the exit lanes.  TSA is tentatively monitoring through September.  Mr. Nagel stated that most likely it will be the airport’s responsibility.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that RS&H has been in town and will be back in September.  They are reviewing work done to date such as the terminal study and the master plan.  Interviews will be conducted to determine the local flavor of the potential new building.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel stated that some of the articles included in the packet were related to the NWA airbus diversion that took place at MBS.  A letter was received from Rich Bostwick complimenting the ARFF Department for their response.  Mr. Nagel thanked Rich Bostwick and his staff for a job well done.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that security changes have been dominating the news in the last week.  Most of the information is considered security sensitive information which limits the dissemination.  Mr. Nagel thanked Ryan Riesinger who has been the MBS’ primary point of contact.  Mr. Riesinger had a busy weekend and some long nights because some measures must be complied within certain time measures or the airport cannot open.  Mr. Nagel asked Mr. Riesinger to update the Board.

 

Mr. Riesinger stated that threat level was changed to orange early last Thursday morning by the TSA and increased security measures to implement were given shortly thereafter.  One of the first requirements was an additional deputy from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department to conduct security sweeps and provide additional deterrence.  Michigan State Police were also contacted for patrols by their explosive detection canine teams.  They have also had an increased presence during the past week. 

 

Mr. Riesinger stated the TSA screeners and the airlines have worked extremely hard at MBS and across the country to provide information and inspect the millions of passengers that travel in the U.S. each day.  The tsa.gov website received 16.5 million hits on Friday alone; making it the most popular website on the World Wide Web and possibly the single best source for updated information on what you can and cannot take with you on your flight.  Passengers are getting the message.  As they arrive at the airport they are more prepared for screening with fewer prohibited items.

 

Airport personnel have participated in five national security related conference calls hosted by TSA and airport organizations like AAAE and ACI.  Some of the calls had over 400 callers asking questions, offering solutions, listening to the information provided.  Mr. Riesinger stated that all of the organizations and airport personnel have responded professionally and the coordination has been very positive.  He stated that he believes that is in part to proactive planning and emergency preparedness.  Three months ago a security table top exercise was conducted with all of these entities that dealt with similar response and “simulated” activation of MBS’ security contingency plan.  Mr. Riesinger stated that it is important that while the threat level remains at orange and it is  imperative that everyone remain vigilant, report suspicious activity to authorities, and work as a team to prevent another 9-11 type event.

 

Chairman Gwizdala appointed Jon Lynch to the Personnel Committee and Darnell Earley to Chairman of that committee.  Chairman Gwizdala stated that a year and a half ago there was discussion regarding a contract for the airport manager.  He stated that he would like the committee to meet and work on a contract with Mr. Lippert in attendance.  Mr. Lippert stated that a draft had been sent to Mr. Tomion.  Mr. Early asked Mr. Lippert to review the draft and make any necessary revisions before the committee meets.

 

CLOSED SESSION:  Mr. Elder made a motion to go into Closed Session to discuss the financial implication of the land acquisition.  Mr. McKeag seconded.  Chairman Gwizdala asked for a roll call vote.  Ms. Meisel called roll; Mr. Beson, yes; George Biltz, yes; Kenneth Distler, yes; Darnell Earley, yes; Brian Elder, yes; Eugene Gwizdala, yes; Jon Lynch, yes; Hollis McKeag, yes.  Motion carried.

 

RETURN FROM CLOSED SESSION:  Mr. Early made a motion to approve Commonwealth to proceed with the acquisition and relocation of the property.  Should costs need to be amended, that would come back to the commission for approval.  Mr. Elder seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Dr. Distler reported to the board that last week the James Clements Airport had a nice and very well attended air show.  He also stated that Harry Browne Airport now has its ILS activated.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that the September meeting is prior to the ACI conference.  He will keep in contact with Chairman Gwizdala should there not be any business to require a meeting.  A cancellation or an agenda will be sent to inform the board members.  Mr. Biltz stated that he would be unable to attend the September meeting if there was one.

 

Next regular meeting is scheduled for September 21, 2006.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mr. Elder made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Beson seconded and the Board unanimously passed the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            Hollis H. McKeag, Secretary