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County board approves MDOT grants for airport

Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay speaks at the Tuesday meeting of the Marquette County Board of Commissioners. The board approved the acceptance of two Michigan Department of Transportation grants for the airport that provide funds for security and marketing purposes. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Board of Commissioners at its Tuesday meeting unanimously approved the acceptance of two Michigan Department of Transportation grants awarded to Sawyer International Airport for marketing and security purposes.

One of the MDOT grants approved by the board was for the purchase of additional security cameras at the airport, which “will provide the needed safety and security coverage for areas of concern,” in the commercial air service terminal, a letter from Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay to county officials stated.

“Moving forward as we get into higher security at the airport, we reviewed the need for more cameras so that we can observe areas that we don’t have personnel in at all times,” DuRay told commissioners. “So we submitted a grant application to the state for a project at a value of $6,000. They provided us a $4,000 match for that grant. That would provide the airport with five additional cameras — if the bids come in correctly — to cover areas primarily slated for the security checkpoints.”

With the state providing $4,000 of the funding, the county, as the local airport sponsor, is responsible for a $2,000 local share, DuRay said.

The local share of the project was budgeted for within the building repairs line item, and with board approval, staff will begin to collect quotes for the installation of the cameras from vendors, DuRay said.

The additional cameras, which will record onto a hard drive for staff to review in case of an incident or unauthorized door entrance, will expand the camera coverage area in the terminal, DuRay said

“Currently we have three cameras running at the airport and we have a recorder that will record all of the video footage, and it will go out for roughly three weeks, depending on the activity,” DuRay said. “And this system would be incorporated into that as well; and we would just utilize the recorder in the event that we needed to review tapes that would go back and look at the footage.”

Following staff recommendation, commissioners unanimously the acceptance of the grant and approved a resolution that authorized Marquette County Board of Commissioner Chairman Gerald Corkin to sign the grant.

The board also unanimously approved the acceptance of an MDOT Aeronautics Division Airport Awareness grant that was awarded for airport marketing purposes and approved a resolution that authorized Corkin to sign the grant, following staff recommendation.

The grant, which can be applied for on an annual basis, aims to “address declining local marketing funds for commercial air service at many Michigan communities,” a letter to county officials from DuRay states.

The $6,000 grant required a local match of $600 in funds, which has been reserved in the airport’s marketing budget, DuRay told commissioners.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.