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Board approves Sawyer fire truck test equipment

MARQUETTE –The Marquette County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted in support of a recommendation from Sawyer International Airport staff to purchase mobile foam test system equipment from E-ONE at a cost of $30,662.

Polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS, is an active ingredient in the foam used to fight fires at commercial airports across the country. The Department of Environmental Quality has recognized the environmental and health risks associated with PFAS.

“With that firefighting foam we are mandated under the Federal Aviation Administration regulations to have that on hand in the event that we have an aircraft accident or incident and we have to respond,” said Duane DuRay, airport manager.

Per FAA regulations, airports must test their firefighting equipment every six months, which requires the foam containing PFAS to be sprayed. This creates environmental contamination and may require expensive cleanup in the future, the memorandum states.

The foam does not have to be sprayed when using the mobile foam test system equipment from E-ONE. The total cost of $30,662 would outfit both of Sawyer’s fire trucks with the test equipment.

The Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Aeronautics will reimburse all airports $22,106 to purchase the equipment necessary to meet FAA requirements for one truck, leaving a local share of $8,556 for the equipment needed at Sawyer. The board approved the purchase of the test system equipment and the airport will seek the $22,106 reimbursement from the state.

At the Tuesday board meeting, the commissioners also approved:

≤A $75 monthly rent reduction for the Marquette County Flying Club with an annual review of the rent in April by the Airport Advisory Committee. This lowers monthly hangar fees from $350 to $275.

≤A request from Amy Clickner, executive director of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, for county support of the creation of a Michigan Department of Rural Affairs and Development.

≤A request from the Marquette County Central Dispatch to transition from the State of Michigan phone system to a local system.

≤Another request from central dispatch to upgrade the network at their backup dispatch center at the Marquette Police Department.

≤A recommendation from airport staff to hire Explorer Solutions of Plattsburg, New York to assist with efforts to establish a spaceport.

≤A recommendation from the airport to approve the Airport Improvement Program grant from the FAA, which will allow the airport to acquire the federal funding to purchase snow removal equipment.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.