MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION

 

February 21, 2008

 

MINUTES

                                                                           

The meeting was held in the Airport Commission Board Room, 8600 Garfield Road, Freeland, Michigan 48623.  Chairman Kenneth Distler called the meeting to order at 12:59 p.m.  Roll was called by Diane Klapish.

 

COMMISSIONERS

 

Present                           Absent & Excused      Staff                      Other     

Kenneth W. Distler        George J. Biltz            Jeff Nagel             John Palen, Midland Issues

Darnell Earley                Brian K. Elder             A. T. Lippert         Rich Bostwick, NWA

Eugene F. Gwizdala        Jon Lynch                  Ryan Riesinger      Barrie Barber, Saginaw News

Ernie Krygier                 Joyce J. Seals              Diane Klapish

Hollis H. McKeag                                                                           

                                                                                                        

Dr. Distler introduced Ernie Krygier from Bay County as a new member of the commission.  The Board welcomed him.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

 

MINUTES:  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on January 17, 2008.  Mr. Earley seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

 

JANUARY 2008 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the January Payroll Account Check Numbers 83601-83688; the January Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 38151-38247; and the January Cash and Investment Summary.  Mr. McKeag seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:  None .

 

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION:  Chairman Distler presented the following resolution.

 

MBS International Airport Commission

Resolution of Appreciation

 

The MBS International Airport Commission

recognizes with great appreciation the dedicated service of

 

 

PATRICK H. BESON

 

who has served the airport and the owner communities since 2003. During his years of service he has shared his skills as a local business owner, his understanding of community needs, and his knowledge of aviation related activities and concerns to the commission. He has willingly aided the airport manager and management staff as an active committee member.

 

His counsel, support, and pleasant personality will be missed by all who have served and worked with him, and the best wishes of all go with him as he leaves us to dedicate more time to his role as Chairman of the Bay County Board of Commissioners.

 

This Resolution of Appreciation was unanimously adopted at a regular meeting of the MBS Airport Commission on February 21, 2008 and shall be retained in the permanent minutes of the commission.

 

MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION

 

 

BAY COUNTY                                        CITY OF MIDLAND                                   CITY OF SAGINAW

Eugene F. Gwizdala                      Hollis H. McKeag                              Kenneth W. Distler

Brian K. Elder                             George J. Biltz                                  Joyce J. Seals

Ernie Krygier                                Jon Lynch                                         Darnell Earley

                                                       

Jeffrey A. Nagel Airport Manager

A. T. Lippert, Jr., Airport Attorney

 

Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the Resolution of Appreciation for Pat Beson.  Mr. Earley seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

AUDIT SCOPE LETTER:  Chairman Distler stated that Andrews Hooper and Pavlik annually give the Board the audit scope letter which outlines the scope of services for the upcoming audit.  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to receive the audit scope letter from Andrews Hooper & Pavlik.  Mr. Kryieger seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

RETIREE HEALTH CARE UPDATE:  Mr. Nagel stated that the Personnel Committee met and discussed a variety of topics over the past several months.  One benefit which has been closely examined is retiree health care.  Currently, administrative staff retiring into the MERS system receive full retiree health care benefits.  Other staff receive $1,500 per year in benefit if they remain on the airport’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plan.

 

Based on the discussions at the committee level, the following recommendation is for full commission action.  This change will not impact current retirees or those currently employed in this job classification.

 

“Effective January 1, 2008 all newly hired administrative staff personnel shall be eligible for the following health care benefit upon retirement:  The Employer shall pay to the Airport’s health insurance carrier, as a premium contribution, a sum not to exceed $125 per month.  The Employer’s responsibility shall continue so long as the retired employee’s health insurance coverage remains in full force and effect.”

 

Mr. Nagel stated that the handbook has been reviewed and that additional changes may be made in the next 12 to 18 months. 

 

Mr. Earley made a motion to approve the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and authorization to modify MBS Employee Handbook to reflect this change.  Mr. Gwizdala seconded.

 

Mr. Earley stated that this is a cost containment measure, one that the Personnel Committee studied very closely with the Airport Manager and Airport Attorney.  The committee is confident that this will take MBS in the direction that is needed in terms of long-term cost containment.  There being no further discussion the motion passed unanimously.

 

2008 AIRPORT MANAGER GOALS:  Mr. Nagel stated that during his annual job performance the commission requested a list of goals for 2008.  The Board was given a list of goals and steps to reach each one.  The Airport Manager stated that the list is broad in nature and in no way is meant to encompass all daily activities of this position.  Mr. Earley made a motion to approve the 2008 goals for the Airport Manager with Mr. Gwizdala seconding.

 

Mr. McKeag commented on the first goal which is to continue to monitor fares and service from incumbent carriers.  He stated that he would like to see take action as appropriate added.  He expressed concern over continued declining passenger numbers.  Mr. McKeag stated that he would like to see Mr. Nagel add a goal of increase passenger numbers over previous years.  As the Personnel Committee Chairperson, Mr. Earley stated it may be better or more achievable for Mr. Nagel to put together a plan as to how he would address increased ridership rather than holding Mr. Nagel solely responsible for increasing passenger numbers.  Chairman Distler stated that the 2008 goals have been moved and supported and that Mr. Nagel has agreed to add “take action as appropriate” to the first goal.  Chairman Distler also stated that the Marketing Committee will discuss ridership and numbers and bring a recommendation to the Board.  The Chairman called for the vote and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Chairman Distler stated that although ridership will not be directly tied to the Airport Manager’s goals it should be addressed.  The Marketing Committee will discuss using ridership and numbers as a parameter to judge the success of the marketing strategy.

 

OLD BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel updated the commission on the FAA reauthorization.  He stated that the House and Senate have both passed a temporary continuation of the AIP taxes and fees until June of 2008.  The AIP contract authority has been signed, or will be shortly, and MBS will receive grants for 2008.  Mr. Nagel stated that the State Capital Outlay Bill has not been passed.  The Capital Outlay Bill allows federal funds to be transferred from the federal government FAA to the state and then to the communities.  Without the Capital Outlay Bill passed there is no transfer mechanism so MBS would not receive grant money.  A group of airport managers testified before a joint House and Senate subcommittee to see if the aeronautics portion can be moved out of the Capital Outlay Bill.  Mr. Nagel stated that he would continue to keep the Airport Commission updated.

 

Mr. Nagel updated the commission on the property purchase.  The Airport did a partial purchase with the owner keeping 40 acres to the north as well as a 12 foot strip for access.  Because both parties were in agreement, the necessity hearing was dropped.  A good faith offer of $463,656.35 which was discussed and approved by the Board has been paid.  The airport is in possession of the property, however, the final amount could change.  The property owner is still living in the house, has access to the house for six months and at that time an evaluation of the residency will be made.  Staff will continue to work through the process of determining the final amount.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel stated that in January the airport had its annual FAA Certification Inspection.  They inspect the airfield side, all the paperwork and training records.  This was the third year in a row that there were no discrepancies listed.  Mr. Nagel thanked Mr. Riesinger and the entire staff for all their efforts.

 

Mr. Nagel stated that there has been a lot of discussion in various media outlets regarding airline mergers.  He talked about a possible airline merger between Northwest and Delta and was unsure of the impact it would have on MBS.  The airport does not have Delta service; Northwest is the dominant carrier and serves two hubs.  Mr. Nagel thought the impact would be minimal but at this time he acknowledged it was purely speculation.  Staff will continue to monitor whether the merger goes through and how it will affect MBS.

 

Mr. Nagel updated the Board on our last major snow storm which totaled 14 inches.  He stated that airport employees worked over 140 hours of overtime to keep the airport open during the entire storm.  He mentioned that it was discouraging because they worked so hard to keep the airport open but flights were still cancelled.

 

Chairman Distler stated that MBS has a great track record of not being closed yet flights are being cancelled by Northwest and United that are not due to problems at MBS.  Discussion took place regarding cancellations at the airport.  Mr. Riesinger stated that one thing to keep in mind is that the airport may be open but there are also meteorological conditions that prevent flights whether it is low visibility, fog, wind or deicing issues.  It is an airline decision to operate the flight and involves more than whether or not the airport is open.  Mr. Bostwick, NWA, reiterated to the Board that the runways may be open however the visibility or the ceiling is too low to permit a landing.  He stated that flight information is posted or announced to the passengers and they are given a reason for the cancellation.  Mr. Bostwick assured the Board that he is very proactive with Northwest at MBS Airport.

 

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS:  Chairman Distler appointed Joyce Seals to the Finance Committee and Ernie Krygier to the Personnel Committee.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Next regular meeting is scheduled for March 20, 2008. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mr. Earley made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Gwizdala seconded and the Board unanimously passed the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 1:35 p.m.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            Eugene F. Gwizdala, Secretary