Metro-East News

St. Clair County Board keeps MidAmerica Airport oversight with Public Building Commission

St Clair County Board MidAmerica Airport Discussion

St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Board Member Ed Cockrell have a lively discussion about who should oversee MidAmerica Airport
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St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Board Member Ed Cockrell have a lively discussion about who should oversee MidAmerica Airport

The St. Clair County Board on Monday opted against having the county board oversee MidAmerica Airport and left the responsibility with the Public Building Commission.

Under the failed proposal from County Board Members Ed Cockrell, Larry Stammer, Frank Heiligenstein and David Tiedemann, Airport Director Tim Cantwell would have reported to the full County Board, rather than to the Public Building Commission.

The County Board voted 18-10 to deny the ordinance. Voting with Cockrell, Stammer, Heiligenstein and Tiedemann were Fred Boch, Craig Hubbard, Nick Miller, Mike O’Donnell, Stephen Reeb and John West.

Board member Oliver Hamilton was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Board members Robert Allen, Joan McIntosh, Roy Mosley Jr., Lonnie Mosley, Ken Easterly, C. Richard Vernier, Dixie Seibert, Jerry Dinges, Angela Grossmann-Roewe, Robert Trentman, June Chartrand, Curtis Jones, Michael Baker, Marty Crawford, Lorraine Haywood, Kenneth Sharkey, Joseph Kassly and Carol Clark voted to deny the proposal.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly told county board members during the Judiciary Committee meeting that any change in the board’s status with the airport requires a change in a 1996 intergovernmental agreement with the Public Building Commission.

Kelly said passing the ordinance would have been inconsistent with the agreement.

“We have two different things, and they’re not consistent with each other,” Kelly said.

Heiligenstein said there probably needs to be a new intergovernmental agreement between the Public Building Commission and the county board, “so we on the County Board can be more accoutnable to our constituents.”

Chairman Mark Kern reiterated issues of the airport are discussed during the monthly Public Building Commission meeting, usually on the third Thursday of the month in the morning. Kern also added Cantwell gives reports to Economic Development committee meeting.

“When he misses he’s out of town on business trying to get more business for the airport,” Kern said.

In other business

Front Street jurisdiction: The county board approved taking jurisdictional control of Front Street in East St. Louis.

The county also designated the road as a truck route and county highway, and took charge of maintenance of the road.

The county needs to have jurisdictional control in order to qualify for state and federal assistance in reconstructing the road.

East St. Louis maintains authority of regulating traffic and speed limits, as well as authority over economic and community development along the street.

Any development and construction along the road would still have to comply with East St. Louis ordinances.

Approval of road projects: County board members approved two planned road projects.

The highway department plans to put in a left-turn lane along Scott-Troy Road onto Hilltop Drive east of O’Fallon.

The county board approved a $265,500 contract with Kilian Corp. to carry out the project.

There have been issues with traffic backups and accidents at the intersection, County Engineer Jim Fields has said.

Board members approved a repair work along Jefferson Road east of Reinneck Road in Freeburg Township.

The road had a dip because of mine subsidence issues. The county board is scheduled to vote on a $26,500 contract for Hank’s Excavating to complete the repair work.

MidAmerica Airport Maintenance employee union: County Board members approved a three-year contract for the four-person International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union at MidAmerica Airport.

The contract covers 2014 through 2016, and pay increases to match what pay increases were available to other county employees.

A 1.5 percent raise is being awarded for 2014, a 2 percent raise for 2015, and a 2 percent raise for 2016. Pay for 2014 and 2015 would be in the form of backpay.

The raises had been in the airport budget during previous years, Cantwell said. Cantwell wouldn’t comment on why the contract wasn’t approved earlier.

How they voted

County board members voted to deny a proposal to have the County Board oversee MidAmerica Airport

Voted to deny: Robert Allen, Joan McIntosh, Roy Mosley Jr., Lonnie Mosley, Ken Easterly, C. Richard Vernier, Dixie Seibert, Jerry Dinges, Angela Grossman-Roewe, Robert Trentman, June Chartrand, Curtis Jones, Michael Baker, Marty Crawford, Lorraine Haywood, Kenneth Sharkey, Joseph Kassly and Carol Clark

Voted not to deny: Ed Cochrell, Larry Stammer, Frank Heiligenstein, David Tiedemann, Fred Boch, Craig Hubbard, Nick Miller, Mike O’Donnell, Stephen Reeb and John West.

Members absent: Oliver Hamilton

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