MidAmerica airport to get Homeland Security equipment upgrade

News-DemocratApril 17, 2014 

File photo of MidAmerica Airport.

ZIA NIZAMI — znizami@bnd.com

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport will receive a $32,000-plus upgrade to equipment required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

St. Clair County's Public Building Commission, which oversees the county-owned airport in Mascoutah, approved the upgrade during a meeting on Tuesday at the County Building. The equipment upgrade will be within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility at the airport.

The equipment, mostly technology-based, has not been updated since its installation in Aug. 2006. The county had planned for a complete upgrade in 2015, but a review from federal officials found some mandatory equipment needed to be replaced immediately.

The commission also amended a contract with a company responsible for monitoring wetlands near the airport. The amendment, which added about $3,800 in pay to the company, was necessary because researchers found enhanced aquatic and avian life when conducting surveys of the wetlands, according to MidAmerica Director Tim Cantwell.

The total cost of the contract is now $82,175. The contract is with Crawford, Murphy and Tilly, Inc., an engineering firm based in Springfield, Ill.

The surveys are required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and began in June 2013. Researchers found a much greater amount of organisms in Silver Creek and Crooked Creek than expected.

For example, researchers collected about 65 times the amount of organisms expected in Crooked Creek. The increase is a positive indicator the quality of aquatic life is improving, but also increased the cost of the survey.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service