MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION

 

September 20, 2007

 

MINUTES

                                                                           

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

 

COMMISSIONERS

 

Present                           Absent & Excused      Staff                      Other     

Patrick H. Beson            Hollis H. McKeag       Jeff Nagel             Rich Bostwick, NWA

George J. Biltz               Darnell Earley             A. T. Lippert         Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News

Brian K. Elder                Jon Lynch                   Ryan Riesinger      Wilma Kasten, Citizen

Eugene F. Gwizdala        Kenneth W. Distler   Diane Klapish        John Palen, Midland Issues

Wilmer Jones-Ham                                                                           Duane Goslin, Dow Corning

                                                                                                         Marty Willett, Dow Corning

                                                                                                         Paul Wyche, Saginaw News

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

 

MINUTES:  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on August 16, 2007.  Ms. Jones-Ham seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

 

AUGUST 2007 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Ms. Jones-Ham made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the August Payroll Account Check Numbers 83283-83368; the August Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 37781-37857; and the August Cash and Investment Summary.  Mr. Elder seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:  None

 

TSA COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT:  Mr. Nagel stated that the TSA has offered a Cooperative Agreement Program which assists airports in funding law enforcement support to meet the requirements of security regulations, security directives and emergency amendments.  The airport pays over $300,000 per year to the Saginaw County Sheriff Department for these services.  MBS has applied for, and received, a grant for $58,473 annually to assist the airport with these expenses.  This is a five-year grant which totals over $290,000 for the airport.  The TSA requires the Chairman to sign the actual agreement.

 

Ms. Jones-Ham made a motion to approve the TSA Cooperative Agreement to assist with law enforcement expenses.  Mr. Biltz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

DOW CORNING HANGAR PLANS:  Mr. Nagel stated that Dow Corning requires commission approval of the final plans for the hangar and hangar site.  The plans have been submitted and reviewed by the airport manager and Bob Peckham.  A set of the plans were available at the commission meeting for review.

 

Other approvals still need to be obtained including the FAA and the Township.  Approval of the plans by the Airport Commission does not waive the other required approvals.

 

Mr. Elder made a motion to approve Dow Corning’s final plans as provided in Article IV, Section 1.A of the agreement and lease of premises.  This approval is granted without waiver of any of the requirements or obligations of Dow Corning as provided in Article IV, Section 1.C of the agreement and lease, or waiver of compliance requirements specified in the FAA letter to Mr. Kurt Welsh dated August 21, 2007.  Mr. Beson seconded the motion and discussion followed.

 

Mr. Biltz had concerns about the commission approving Dow Corning’s final plans until all FAA and Township approvals have been received.  He stated that when the lease was approved prior to FAA approval last time there may have been some confusion by Dow Corning management.  Mr. Biltz asked Mr. Nagel to explain the process to the board so they could have a better understanding of the situation.  Mr. Nagel stated the Airport Commission approved the lease for the Dow Corning hangar site at a special meeting on June 1st.  The FAA approval process for the airspace review was in process at that time.  The FAA’s comments were that the hangar was not a problem and airspace would not be an issue.  However, The Office of Frequency Management in Chicago posed an objection to the hangar site due to some potential frequency conflicts with the communication towers.  Dow Corning has worked through most of the issues and is currently working under a conditional approval for site work, grade work and utility work.  They are waiting for final approval from the FAA before construction of the hangar can begin.

 

Mr. Goslin of Dow Corning stated that the lease has conditions which protect both sides.  Dow Corning has been talking to the FAA directly and a temporary solution has been put in place.  The FAA has visited the site and they are 99.9% sure that it will be a permanent solution but other steps are still required.  Mr. Welsh contacted the FAA in Chicago this morning and basically got a verbal approval and anticipates a letter from the FAA by the end of the week removing temporary restrictions.

 

Further discussion took place regarding a $25,000 study required by the FAA for the communication towers.  Mr. Lippert stated that a condition of the lease is that Dow Corning must receive FAA approval which includes having the study done at a cost to Dow Corning.  Mr. Goslin stated that they were under the assumption that the reimbursable agreement has to come from the airport not Dow Corning and they were looking for support.  Mr. Nagel stated that the FAA will not contract with the tenant.  Mr. Elder stated that this appears to be a topic that needs to be discussed by airport management and made a motion to defer the Dow Corning agenda item until next month.  Mr. Beson seconded.  Mr. Gwizdala asked for a roll call vote.  Ms. Klapish called roll; Patrick Beson, yes; George Biltz, abstained; Brian Elder, yes; Eugene Gwizdala, yes; Wilmer Jones-Ham, yes.  Motion carried.

 

PROPERTY ACQUISITION UPDATE:  Mr. Nagel stated that at the August 16, 2007 commission meeting the Airport Commission approved special counsel Boris Yakima to present an offer to acquire the property to the north of the airport.  The offer was presented and the owner given ten days to respond.  Since that time, there has been no communication from the owner or his representatives, which constitutes a rejection of the offer.  The next step in the process is approval of the Declaration of Taking.  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED, that the attorneys for the MBS International Airport Commission are hereby authorized and directed to take whatever steps are necessary for the acquisition of said property and property interests including the commencement and prosecution of condemnation proceedings under Michigan law for the acquisition of said property and to sign all documents and pleadings necessary for such litigation, and Kenneth W. Distler, Chairman of the Commission, is hereby authorized to sign a Declaration of Taking for the acquisition of said properties, and the Airport Manager is authorized to complete the financial transactions required in accordance with State and Federal law.

 

Ms. Jones-Ham seconded.  Mr. Gwizdala asked for a roll call vote.  Ms. Klapish called roll; Patrick Beson, yes; George Biltz, yes; Brian Elder, yes; Eugene Gwizdala, yes; Wilmer Jones-Ham, yes.  Motion carried.

 

OLD BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel updated the commission on changes in the contract for the construction project.  The contract was bid as a unit contract so each item in the contract has a unit price.  Additional increases in the project include removal of light bases, 14 inches of asphalt, 12 and 24 inch pipe and some catch basins on the runway end.  Mr. Riesinger and Peckham Engineering worked with FAA Certification and were able to temporarily mark Runway 5 as a non-precision approach versus a visual approach.  On the ramp, the contractor removed and replaced corroded pipe as well as saw cut concrete.  These changes total approximately $70,000 of which $40,000 was in temporary marking for the runway.  This equates to $1,800 of local money at 2 ˝ percent match.

 

Mr. Riesinger updated the board on the paving construction project.  He stated that they are making good progress and are on schedule.  He also discussed the FAA PAPI and Dow Corning projects.

 

Mr. Nagel updated the board on the activities of the Marketing Committee in regards to the fare study by the Boyd Group and follow-up visit to Northwest Airlines on August 1st.  The airport is looking for a win-win solution with Northwest increasing their revenue and MBS increasing their passenger traffic by doing some experimentation with the fares.  Northwest has notified the airport that they have implemented some of the pricing strategies.  This pricing strategy will help eliminate customers driving out of MBS catchment area to other airports where there are other airline options.

 

Mr. Nagel discussed the Aviation Trust Fund which is a ticket tax that funds the AIP program.  The current trust fund expires on September 30th.  There currently is conflicting ideas on how to fund the system and this delay could jeopardize projects in 2008.  The FAA still requires the airport to move forward with the 5-year plan and MAP meeting.  The airport and RS&H are working on a terminal funding plan but it is difficult to do without having the ground rules.  Mr. Nagel stated that the timing for FAA reauthorization is good for the MBS project and that it is better to happen at the beginning opposed to the middle of the project when the airport is in construction.  Mr. Nagel received an update at the MAAE Conference regarding the State of Michigan budget crisis which also could impact airports.  The commission will continue to be updated on these issues.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Riesinger informed the commission of a possible grant opportunity for new radios.  The Airport currently operates a VHF band radio system for primarily internal communications, operations, and maintenance.  This VHF system is outdated and in need of repair and/or replacement.  In addition, the Airport has only two functioning 800 mhz hand held radios programmed on the Saginaw County Emergency Communications Plan.  During the recent full-scale emergency exercise this year, the Airport needed 10 800 mhz radios, which were supplied by Saginaw County Emergency Management, just to meet basic needs for the purpose of the exercise.  Radio communications has also been a reoccurring area that has been noted for improvement in past exercises.  To address these radio concerns, the 2007 capital budget includes $29,000 for radio system improvements, with an additional $30,000 in the ten-year plan for the following three years.

 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it would be offering Public Safety Interoperability Communication (PSIC) grants.  This grant program has made available $968 million to help state and local first responders improve public safety communications and coordination during a natural or man-made disaster.

 

If MBS were to receive a DHS PSIC grant it would enable the airport to effectively combine two of the existing radio systems into one.  The airport would be able to utilize existing antenna infrastructure that is owned, operated, and maintained by the Michigan State Police, therefore, the airport would no longer need to maintain expensive radio receivers, repeaters, and transmitters in-house.  Using these radios on a daily basis would also help to better familiarize personnel to the Saginaw County Emergency Communications plan.

 

The DHS PSIC grants are being administered by the State of Michigan’s DHS Regions.  The airport has submitted a proposal to our Region for their review and they have forwarded the proposal for consideration.  The MBS proposal has a total cost of $246,792.00.  The DHS PSIC grant would pay for 80% of this cost, leaving a local match of 20%, or $49,358.40.

 

These grants are to be awarded by September 30, 2007, but it is unknown exactly when MBS would be notified if the proposal was selected.  Staff wanted to at least take this opportunity to brief the commission on the possibility of receiving this grant.  An award of a grant would be brought back to the commission for approval.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Next regular meeting is scheduled for October 18, 2007. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mr. Elder made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Biltz seconded and the board unanimously passed the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 1:37 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            Eugene F. Gwizdala, Secretary