MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION

 

March 15, 2007

 

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             George J. Biltz              Jeff Nagel               Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News

Kenneth W. Distler          Darnell Earley               A. T. Lippert          Wilma Kasten, Citizen

Brian K. Elder                                                     Ryan Riesinger  Rich Bostwick, NWA

Eugene F. Gwizdala                                             Debbie Meisel       Angela Osmond, TSA

Wilmer Jones-Ham                                                                           

Jon Lynch

Hollis H. McKeag                                                                                   

 

                                        

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

 

MINUTES:  Ms. Jones-Ham made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on February 15, 2007.  Mr. Elder seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

 

FEBRUARY 2007 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Dr. Distler made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the February Payroll Account Check Numbers 82920-82973; the February Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 37319-37393; and the February Cash and Investment Summary.  Mr. Beson seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:  None

 

SURPLUS FIRE TRUCK:  Mr. Nagel stated that with the arrival of the new ARFF truck, it is time to address the oldest fire truck.  The 1976 500-gallon Walter fire truck is currently not in use and is not needed to meet FAA Index.  The truck is in bad shape but may have a value to a small department or for spare parts.  Recommendation of staff is to dispose of the truck.  Mr. Lynch made a motion to declare the 1976 Walter fire truck as surplus equipment and authorization for the Airport Manager to sell the truck by receiving bids.  Ms. Jones-Ham seconded and the motion unanimously carried.

 

TRACTOR/MOWER PURCHASE:  Mr. Nagel stated that at the February meeting the commission was informed that staff was working toward replacing a field tractor and mower.  Specifications were written by airport staff and were advertised locally as well as sent to various dealers.  Bids were due Wednesday, March 7, 2007. 

 

Two bids were received for the tractor and mower; Flint New Holland, $82,857.10 and Bader and Sons, $87,499.47.  A thorough review of the bid packages showed that the low bid substantially complied with the specifications.  Therefore, recommendation of airport staff is to accept the bid of Flint New Holland for the tractor and mower.

 

As mentioned last month, these items are not AIP eligible and are 100% local funds.  Both items were in the 10 year plan and were budgeted for a total of $88,000.00.  Mr. Elder made a motion to approve the bid of Flint New Holland in the amount of $82,857.10 with Ms. Jones-Ham seconding.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

SPECIAL COUNSEL SELECTION:  Mr. Nagel stated that Commonwealth Associates was hired last year to assist in the purchase of the needed property to the north of the airport.  Unfortunately, those efforts have not been successful.  While a negotiated agreement is still possible it was recommended by Commonwealth to move forward with condemnation proceedings.  Mr. Nagel discussed this with the State Land Specialist and he recommends hiring a condemnation attorney.  Mr. Nagel also discussed this with Mr. Lippert, and he agreed with that recommendation.

 

Mr. Nagel solicited recommendations from other airport managers as to who would best fill this role. Two names were mentioned repeatedly so both were contacted, asked for information and scheduled interviews.  Mr. Lippert and Mr. Nagel met with both attorneys last week and, based on all factors, their recommendation is to retain Boris Yakima to assist MBS through this process.  Mr. Yakima has a broad range of experience including representing other airports. 

 

A letter from Mr. Yakima that outlined his costs was included in the packets.  Mr. Lippert stated that both attorneys were very qualified but he felt that Mr. Yakima has back up in his law firm with associates and paralegals that work for him which the other attorney did not have.  Mr. Lippert felt that Mr. Yakima’s rates were reasonable for the work that he would be doing and the fact that his work experience is all in land condemnation is a positive.  Mr. Beson made a motion to approve Boris Yakima as condemnation attorney as outlined in his letter and authorization for the Chairman to sign.  Mr. McKeag seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

UPDATED FIVE-YEAR PLAN:  Mr. Nagel stated that the last five-year plan was discussed and approved at the November 16, 2006 commission meeting.  Since then, the commission voted to proceed with a new terminal building.

 

Mr. Nagel has worked with RS&H, the State Project Manager and the FAA to develop a new five-year plan.  This plan is based on the $48.3 million figure for the new terminal, which was presented at the December commission meeting.  The actual total is higher because some of the projects listed in 2007 are not related to the terminal project.

 

Mr. Nagel explained that it is a planning document only.  Approval of this plan does not commit MBS to these projects or costs.  Each year requires commission action to approve the projects and apply for federal funds.  Also, as noted, specific financial split between AIP, PFC, State, Local and FAA discretionary will be determined by the new AIP legislation and by MBS’ success in applying for discretionary funding.  As the project progresses, Mr. Nagel will continue to modify the plan and update the commission.  Mr. Elder made a motion to approve the five-year plan.  Mr. Beson seconded and the motion unanimously carried.

 

OLD BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel updated the board that he has received both proposals from the Boyd Group; the Small Community Air Service Grant Application proposal and the Market Pair Study.  Both have been signed and returned to Mike Boyd for execution.  Work will begin shortly.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that the 2007 airport funding (AIP), as reported last month, has been approved by the House and Senate in Washington and signed by the President.  However, Mr. Nagel and Mr. Riesinger were informed at the MAAE conference in February that there was no state legislation to channel the money through to the airports.  Mr. Nagel explained that the money goes from the FAA to the state, then the state pays the bills, and MBS pays the local share but state legislation is needed to pass the money through.  The Michigan governor vetoed that in December.  It was determined at the conference that there was over $137 million of Michigan airport projects in jeopardy for 2007.  The MAAE began a campaign for each airport to contact their local representatives.  Mr. Nagel contacted Roger Kahn, Ken Horn, Jeff Mayes, and John Moolenaar.  Due to the efforts of the association, the airport section of the capital outlay bill was separated from the other state sections.  It was another section that had caused the veto.  The House and Senate both passed and the governor is expected to sign the legislation this week.  It appears that the 2007 funding is back on track.

 

The AIP reauthorization funding for 2008 is a big topic.  There are some proposals that would potentially lower the AIP entitlement but possibly increase the PFC capability.  In the general aviation sector there are also user fees and fuel taxes proposed.  Those proposals and others are being presented to the subcommittees in Washington.  Hopefully a bill will be passed so that funding can continue uninterrupted in 2008.

 

Mr. Nagel informed the commission that he had gone to Washington in late February.  He was able to update the representatives on the MBS project.  He met with Senator Levin and Stabenow and Representative Camp and Kildee.  Senator Levin is the only one that was unable to personally meet with Mr. Nagel because he had another meeting; Mr. Nagel met with his legislative representative.  The project was met with great support. 

 

Mr. Nagel has also met with FAA Airports District Office in Detroit who controls the Michigan funding.  He has met with them twice and they support the project.  They recommend that Mr. Nagel return to Washington in spring or summer to meet with the FAA headquarter personnel.  Mr. Nagel also plans to take advantage of an opportunity in June to attend the AAAE annual conference in Washington, D.C.   They are allowing time to interact with the legislators. 

 

Mr. Nagel stated that he updated some of the chambers and economic development groups on the project since he returned from Washington.  They have written letters on MBS’ behalf to Mr. Camp and Mr. Kildee.  Mr. Nagel has received letters of support from the Saginaw Chamber, Saginaw Future, Bay Chamber, Midland Chamber and an excellent editorial in the Saginaw News.  Thanks to Cheryl Wade, Mr. Nagel will be sitting down with the editorial board from the Midland Daily News to talk about the project next week. The project is getting support locally.

 

Since the last meeting there were a couple of ice and snow storms.  It may be on the news that the United flights are canceled fairly quickly in the day.  That is typically caused by the capacity issues at O’Hare Airport.   MBS remained open and operational at all times during those storms.  The new chemical deicing vehicle used with the sand gave an immediate impact and a residual impact throughout the storm.  It is a good piece of equipment.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that Bay County and the City of Midland passed the property resolutions.  He is working with Mr. Earley to get it scheduled on the Saginaw City Council agenda.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel thanked Rich Bostwick and his staff for their assistance during a recent emergency involving a Northwest DC-9.  Mr. Nagel also said the airport fire department did an excellent job in their response.

 

Mr. Nagel said that he would be on vacation the week of April 9-14.  If needed, a commissioner can contact him through the administration office.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Dr. Distler inquired on the future of the Michigan Department of Aeronautics.  Discussion followed.

 

Next regular meeting is scheduled for April 19, 2007.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mr. Beson made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Elder seconded and the Board unanimously passed the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 1:21 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            Hollis H. McKeag, Secretary