County board OKs administration contract for airport taxiway project

MARQUETTE – Among several recent actions, the Marquette County Board approved a construction administration contract for a $630,000 taxiways project at Sawyer International Airport.

Airport manager Duane DuRay said the airport has begun planning reconstruction of Taxiway E and F. The costs for construction to Marquette County will total, $31,500, which is 5 percent of the total.

In December, the county board approved a professional services agreement for the project, which authorized the design and preliminary engineering. DuRay said that preliminary work was done during the off-season to assure the entire project could be completed in one calendar year.

“Due to the age and condition of the pavement, we are going through rehabilitation of the taxiways,” said airport manager Duane DuRay. “It’s just normal wear and tear, normal repair.”

The construction administration contract approved Tuesday with Mead & Hunt, covers a range of items from engineering survey and layout, material testing and shop drawing to final inspection and report.

The taxiways project is funded through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program. Total cost for the construction administration aspects of the project is $60,525. Of that total, the federal share is 90 percent or $54,472. The state and local contributions are 5 percent or $3,026 each. The county’s share will be paid with passenger facility charges, which are derived from a $4.50 tax charged on each departure ticket.

Reconstruction will cover roughly a quarter mile of taxiways, completed over 36 days.

In other action, the county board also approved discontinuing a requirement staff report quarterly to the panel on the number of hours worked by retire-rehire workers. Last September, the board voted to adopt the requirement.

Commissioner Gregory Seppanen requested the board reconsider requiring the reports, but staff will continue to monitor the hours of those retire-rehire workers who fall below an annual cap of 720 hours. A report from January through this month shows five workers logging a total of 359 hours, with the highest hours total for a single employee at 102.

Seppanen recommended the board be informed by staff of any worker who exceeds 600 hours. He said Tuesday the county appears to be “getting good value from the system,” based on the quarterly report showing hours worked and pay received.

Commissioner Deborah Pellow cast the lone dissenting vote. She said the report is compiled for the Municipal Employees Retirement System and she didn’t see why the board shouldn’t continue to receive it.

“I like getting the report,” Pellow said.

The panel also voted unanimously to back a resolution which would designate Marquette and Delta counties as a micropolitan area, which would likely provide some organizational, cooperative and financial benefits if eventually adopted into state law.

Appointments were made to the jury and Pathways boards Tuesday by the county board. Carol Koski was previously appointed to the jury board to fill the unexpired term of Janet Sonaglia. Koski and Richard Johnson applied for the vacancy, which is a 6-year term expiring in October 2019. Koski was reappointed.

On the Pathways (Community Mental Health) Board, there were two open positions are for 3-year terms, ending March 31, 2016. Seven candidates were vying for the position.

The board is a 12-member body with up to six members being public official members and the remainder private citizens. A public official is defined as someone who works 20 hours or more per week for federal, state, or local government. The two vacancies are for members of the public with family members or primary Pathways recipients preferred.

Incumbents Bill Davie of Negaunee Township and Rudy Kemppainen of Ishpeming were reappointed. Other candidates included James Borowski of Marquette, E. Leonard Dewitt of Negaunee, James Gallant of Skandia, Randy Girard of Marquette and Glenn Wing of Champion Township.

The board voted to make county administrator Scott Erbisch grant administrator for the county’s survey and remonumentation program. County finance manager Sue Vercoe had previously been named to the position as an interim appointment until the county hired a new administrator.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.