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Lakeland Airport Commission considers CARES Act funding use

June 30, 2020 by Kayla Houp

The Lakeland Airport Commission on Thursday, June 25, considered the status of its CARES Act funding request as well as possible uses for the $30,000 of funding.

One possible use for the funding the commission was pursing was using a portion of the funding to pay for crack sealing for the airport taxiway.

“I’ve always wanted to do some crack sealing,” airport manager Jon Schmitz said.

“It needs it,” commission chair Brandon Baker said. “It’s bad.”

The commission considered a proposal from Pitlik & Wick for the taxiway project in the amount of $17,250.

“The question for you is how much do we wanna spend on that taxiway of our $30,000,” Schmitz said, stating the remainder of the funds would be used to reduce the commission’s match responsibility for the recent change orders approved for the airport fence project.

Commission member Matt Gaulke recused himself from the discussion.

“Who bid on it besides Pitlik?” commission member Chuck Dorwick asked.

“Nobody, because we’re trying to maneuver this without bidding,” Schmitz said. “They have a special two-step process, and this is just a temporary emergency repair. We’re not doing all of it.”

Schmitz clarified if they were to crack seal the entire taxiway, then the project would have to go out for bid.

“I would make a motion that we accept this bid and do the crack sealing,” commission member Jeff Hunter stated.

Hunter said “nobody can really compete” with Pitlik & Wick due to the company’s ownership of the pits.

“Anybody that’s gonna bid against them has to buy their product from them,” Hunter explained.

“I don’t know, can we make that motion?” Dorwick asked, referencing the agenda. “Is it on the agenda. Show it to me on the agenda.”

“CARES Act funding,” Schmitz stated. “The use of CARES Act funding for crack sealing and matching dollars to cover the matching.”

“It doesn’t really say specifically that we’re making a decision,” Hunter said. “It’s on here, but it doesn’t say. It’s a status of the report for review.”

“Well, the review is how we’re gonna use it,” Schmitz said.

Hunter asked if there was going to be a problem if the commission waited until its next meeting to decide.

“Yes,” Schmitz said. “The CARES Act is supposed to be used right away.”

“I guess Chuck is right,” Hunter said. “I don’t really see where we can ... it’s really not in there.”

While the approval of using CARES Act funds to pay for the taxiway crack seal project wasn’t on the commission’s agenda, Hunter said they could host a special meeting to make the decision.

“I’m OK with that,” Baker said. “Might as well make it legit.”

Baker asked Schmitz if he felt the decision had to be made before the commission’s meeting in July.

“I do,” Schmitz said. “What I’m going to do is pay our match with the CARES Act, which we have to pay anyway, and worry about crack seal at the next meeting, rather than have a special meeting.”

Fencing update

Schmitz informed the commission the changes approved at the commission’s previous meeting had been implemented.

He said he and Matt Yentz from Strand Associates had checked out the fence the previous week.

“He said the snowmobile club approved the changes as you guys approved them,” Schmitz said. “I have an issue, and I told Yentz, that the fence is still way too close to Propwash Bay Road.”

Schmitz said the agreement the commission had come to with the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics would have the BOA paying for 50% of the costs for the change order.

“We pick up a $28,000 cost and a $14,000 bill,” Schmitz said. 

Schmitz urged the commission to look at the area of fencing near Propwash Bay Rd.

“There’s nothing we can do about it now, I think things have been done,” Schmitz said. “But other than that one spot, I think they did a good job.”

Schmitz said the fencing project was almost done.

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]

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