County board approves additional work at airport

From left: Vice-Chairperson Joseph Derocha, Chairperson Gerald Corkin, Commissioner Karen Alholm, Commissioner Bill Nordeen, Commissioner Stephen Adamini and Commissioner Johnny DePetro are seen during Tuesday’s Marquette County Board of Commissioners meeting. (Journal photo by Brennan White)

MARQUETTE — A request for the approval of a construction administration agreement that would cost Marquette County $150,007 was presented during Tuesday’s Marquette County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Director of Sawyer Operations Duane DuRay presented information regarding the proposed project agreement between Marquette County and Mead and Hunt. The agreement would fund a fire suppression system that would be installed in hanger 664 at K.I. Sawyer International Airport.

According to Duray, the cost totals $274,161 and is included in a military Air Force program grant. It is the opinion of C.S. Engineering Inc. that this is a reasonable fee for the scope of work and would be in a range between $389,410 and $475,946. The total project costs for the fire suppression project is estimated at $3,134,000. This would be a 90/5/5 split between federal, state and local governments, making the county’s share $150,007. This project will reportedly help further utilize the Military Airport Program grant that was applied for back in 2018 and will cover 90% of the projects cost. The project will be included in a future passenger facility charge application seeking reimbursement for the local share paid. If the Federal Aviation Administration award the grant the county will proceed. The motion passed 6-0.

In additional motions, the board: 

≤ Had its second quarterly budget amendment. Highlights from the general fund include several staffing changes, a visiting judge assisting with case backlog and training for the Marquette County Sheriff’s office, the prosecuting attorney’s offices and the courts. The judge’s visit is funded by $9,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act.

≤ ARPA funding will also be used to train personnel in the sheriff’s, prosecutor’s and court offices to specifically bolster inter-department communication and understanding.

≤ The Search and Rescue fund was increased to pay for a new truck and the training facility. A motion to consider the budget amendment was approved 6-0.

≤ Stephanie Birch was presented with a certificate by the County Board of Commissioners honoring her for her years of services and retirement. She began her career with Marquette County in 1997 as an account clerk with the K.I. Sawyer development department. After several other positions, she was named staff payroll specialist, a position which she held for 12 years.

“I would just like to say that this has been one of my greatest blessings,” Birch said. “And I’m just happy that I had the opportunity.”

≤ The County Board of Commissioners reviewed its expenditures from July 15-28, which totaled $1,251,980.10. The bi-weekly payroll for the period ending July 23 was $736,093.79 and electronic payments and cashier’s checks for the period totaled $92,380.69. The motion to pay the bills as presented was passed 6-0.

≤ The Veterans Affairs location in Ishpeming submitted a memo requesting to rename its office space. The space would be renamed after Col. George T. LaBlonde II in recognition of his years of service and instrumental work in the community. The motion passed 6-0.

≤ A bid was placed for a Chevy Silverado for a total of $37,292.23. The vehicle, from Fox Marquette, is being purchased for the Facilities Department. The truck will be available after six months. The motion was approved 6-0.

≤ A contingent agreement for the sale and purchase of undeveloped land by Superior Extrusion Inc. was passed 6-0. The building is projected to be up and operational before the end of December.


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