September 18, 2008




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 1:00 p.m.  Roll was called by Debbie Meisel.




Present                           Absent & Excused      Staff                      Other     

George J. Biltz (1:05)     Darnell Earley             Jeff Nagel             John Palen, Midland Issues

Kenneth W. Distler                                            A. T. Lippert         Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News

Brian K. Elder                                                     Ryan Riesinger      Paul Wyche, Saginaw News

Eugene F. Gwizdala                                              Debbie Meisel           

Ernie Krygier                                                                                  

Jon Lynch                                                          Guests

Hollis H. McKeag                                              Martin Wander, RS&H

Joyce J. Seals                                                     Mark Wilcer, RS&H




MINUTES:  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on August 21, 2008.  Mr. Krygier seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.


AUGUST 2008 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the August Payroll Account Check Numbers 84093-84149; the August Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 38694-38753; and the August Cash and Investment Summary.  Ms. Seals seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.




WEBSITE ENHANCEMENTS:  In an effort to upgrade marketing at MBS, it has been determined that the website needs a complete overhaul.  Bolger and Battle are in the process of redeveloping the site.  Additional tools have also been examined which can be added to the website to enhance the customer experience while also providing valuable data for the airport.


One such tool is offered by a company called SwiftTrip.  They specialize in data collection and currently assist numerous other airports with a variety of tasks.  SwiftTrip provided a demonstration of their services to Mr. Nagel and Bolger and Battle.  They determined the two pieces that benefit the airport the most include the online booking tool and the fare analyzer.


The online booking tool would allow those passengers who currently book online the opportunity to book tickets directly through the new MBS site.  This tool offers real-time data, 24/7 support, comprehensive fare search and secure membership.  This tool also allows email updates, surveys or other information to all registered travelers.


The other tool that is appealing is the airfare analyzer.  This tool can monitor thousands of city-pairs and provide very useful data.


Swift Trip requires a two-year commitment and the costs are as follows:


             Implementation/Setup                                               $  5,990

             Monthly/Annual Fees (Total for 2 Years)                   10,600



This is an excellent way to enhance the customer experience and continue to build on the “Fly MBS” campaign.  Money is available in the marketing budget and the Marketing Committee has discussed and agreed to implementation.  Mr. Gwizdala made a motion to approve the agreement with SwiftTrip for the online booking tool and fare analyzer and authorize the Airport Manager to sign the related documents.  Mr. Elder seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


TOWNSHIP WATER TANK PROJECT:  At the March 20, 2008 Commission meeting, the Commission approved a motion to declare surplus property and request that the FAA grant a release for a portion of property located at the southwest corner of Garfield and Freeland Roads.  The purpose of the sale was for the development of an at-grade water storage facility for Tittabawassee Township to correct water pressure and flow issues which currently impede airport development.  The Commission also approved that the property would be sold to Tittabawassee Township at fair market value and that proceeds from the sale will be remitted back to the township to assist with the development of the water storage facility.  The motion was subject to FAA approval of the land release.


The FAA has granted a release of approximately 2.96 acres so the sale to the Township can move forward.  To conduct the sale, the three owning municipalities’ concurrence is required.  Mr. Lippert is in the process of developing the required documentation to complete the transaction.  The next step is a letter from the Commission requesting that the owning municipalities execute the deed.


Mr. Gwizdala made a motion authorizing the Airport Manager to submit a letter to the three owning municipalities requesting they execute the deed for the sale of 2.96 acres of surplus property to Tittabawassee Township with the required FAA conditions with Mr. Krygier seconding.  After brief discussion the motion passed unanimously.


RS&H PRESENTATION:  RS&H has been working through the process of the terminal design.  That process has included site visits, community meetings, stakeholder interviews, imaging efforts and numerous meetings with staff.  During this process, the Operations Committee has been very involved.


Martin Wander, RS&H gave a brief presentation.  There was also a brief question and answer period. Mark Wilcer, the project manager, stated that they will be looking at all the elements that relate to green design.  He stated that he had promised Mr. Nagel and this Board to be prudent with the use of the money to be used on the facility.  As long as he can provide green opportunities at no additional cost to the project there is nothing that they will not be looking into that relates to green or energy efficiency.


Mr. Biltz thanked RS&H for listening so well during the interview process which was quite extensive.  He stated that many constraints were put on RS&H in managing the costs, using pristine materials, and keeping the building operationally sound.  Mr. Biltz also stated that there has been a tremendous amount of input of the airport’s needs as well as the communities’ needs presented on numerous occasions to Mr. Nagel and Mr. Riesinger.  He thanked them for all their information and making this project real.


This step represents the end of the “preliminary design” phase.  Before RS&H continues with the refinement of the design, they need Commission agreement on their work-to-date.  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the preliminary terminal design and authorize RS&H to continue to refine the design in accordance with the existing terminal design contract.  Mr. Elder seconded the motion.  Dr. Distler stated that the Commission is very pleased with the work that RS&H has done and appreciated the help of Mr. Nagel and Mr. Riesinger.  He feels that all three communities are very well represented by this concept.  Dr. Distler then called for a vote.  The motion passed unanimously.




NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel stated that he has met with the Personnel Committee to discuss replacing the airport attorney since Mr. Lippert is moving to South Bend, Indiana.  The Committee decided to move forward with a selection process to replace Mr. Lippert including an advertisement in the three local newspapers and the Lawyers Weekly.  The goal as a committee is to have a recommendation to the Board at the November meeting.


Mr. Lippert stated that his wife’s start date is November 1st.  It was not an easy decision for him.  He supports the process that the Committee is taking and if he can assist in the process in any way or make a recommendation he will.  He said that it will be a great and exciting opportunity for someone to represent this Board.  He has been gratified over the years and supported by the many Commission members, city managers, and airport managers.  He stated that there is nothing but growth and prosperity for this airport.  This move is very exciting for him and he will make the transition as easy as possible.  He thanked the Commission for all of the years.  Dr. Distler told Mr. Lippert that his contribution to the airport has been enormous and has been more than a job; he will be sorely missed.  The replacement will have big shoes to fill.  Mr. Lippert thanked him for his comments.


Mr. McKeag stated that he has worked 35 years with Mr. Lippert.  They did not always agree but they were always agreeable.  Mr. McKeag stated that Mr. Lippert will be greatly missed.    


ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Ms. Seals stated that the year-to-date passenger count appears to be improving.  She asked if the summer travel is what is making it look better.  Mr. Nagel stated that MBS did get some larger aircraft this summer but that at a state airport conference various airports were uncertain as to what is causing the numbers to go up and down.


Next regular meeting is scheduled for October 16, 2008. 


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



                                                                                                                                                            Eugene F. Gwizdala, Secretary