Metro-East News

St. Clair County Public Building Commission extends airport consultant agreements

St. Clair County Public Building commissioners extended agreements with two consultants to help bring air cargo business to MidAmerica Airport.

Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved extending agreements with John Chang and Aziotics through December with no increases in compensation. The agreements were set to expire at the end of this month.

When Chang, who is based in California, was first brought on in 2009, he was being paid $36,000 for six months of work, according to airport documents.

Aziotics was paid $4,500 a month when it was brought on in 2014, according to airport documents.

County Board member Fred Boch spoke at the meeting and said the agreements with the consultants needed to have specific expectations and clear termination dates. He asked if it was necessary to extend the contracts immediately.

Commissioners, however, said there was a need to finalize the agreements on Thursday.

“We do need the consultancy continuity, and I would hate to see that be terminated at this time because we did not act affirmatively,” said Commissioner James Nations.

The consultants helped bring North Bay to the airport, said Airport Director Tim Cantwell.

“That’s 150 jobs, and the influence North Bay brings is a core load for airplanes now gives us the ability to go to the next step with airplane discussions,” Cantwell said.

He added the expertise on international cargo brought by Chang and Aziotics is not available in the county.

In other business, commissioners gave the go-ahead for two road work projects at the airport.

Commissioners approved a plan to build the first phase of an airside perimeter road. The 1,000-foot section planned to be built is estimated to cost $358,000, with 90 percent coming from the Federal Aviation Administration, 5 percent from the state and 5 percent in local money.

Airport engineer Dan Trapp said building a perimeter road would be at least a four-phase project and would be carried out as money becomes available.

“The main purpose of that is to reduce any potential of incursions between traffic that doesn’t need to be on airfield pavement,” Trapp said.

The PBC also approved a plan to carry out repair work on the airfield shoulders that are showing cracks and weathering, according to airport documents. The federal government will pay for 90 percent of the $295,500 project, with the rest coming from the airport.

Contact reporter Joseph Bustos at jbustos@bnd.com or 618-239-2451. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeBReporter.

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