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County Commission Minutes 10/24/01

A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, October 24, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.

Commissioners Present:  Leslie H. Leland, Chairman
                                Roger Wey       
                                Leonard Jason, Jr.
                                Robert Sawyer
                                Daniel Flynn
                                John Alley
        E. B. Collins
Also Present:  Carol Borer, County Manager      
                  Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant    
 Julia Wells, MV Gazette
                 Steve Berlucchi, County Engineer
                  William Weibrecht, Airport Manager
          Sean Flynn, Assistant Airport Manager
 William Mill, Airport Commission
 Frank Daly, Airport Commission
 Richard Colson, Airport Commission
 Marc Villa, Airport Commission

Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.

Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the Minutes of October 10, 2001
be approved.  Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were approved as written. Commissioner Collins abstained.

William Weibrecht was invited to present an update on the Airport.  He began with a financial update of FY 2001:
Original Budgeted Revenues were $1,626,198.  The projected Supplemental Increase was $1,881,951, and Actual Revenues were $2,046,370.  The exceeded Budgeted Revenues were $420,172 or 25% and the exceeded Supplemental Revenues were $164,419.

The Airport had an operating surplus of $309,000 after funding all reserves.  Fuel sales projected (net) was $500,000.  The Supplemental increase was $510,000.  Actual fuel sales were $634,187.  The Airport pumped 782,000 gallons or 3% volume increase over FY2000.  Actual fuel revenues exceeded the original budget by 27%.

Mr. Weibrecht reviewed changes in the Operations staff.  He said the broad range of employee backgrounds greatly improved staff knowledge and ability. Increases in training, knowledge and productivity were ongoing.

Upcoming issues were listed as: FAA mandates for security screening and operations; new standards for ARFF coverage and staffing; contract negotiations with Teamsters.

The Airport Manager reviewed Airport Improvement Projects in progress, namely the Airport Master Plan Update Phase I and II.  Phase I was completed and reports are being finalized.  Section 61 of the Final Report would be submitted in the next few weeks.  Forecasts were being applied to operational issues and land requirements.  Phase II will complete the process and include the development of a capital improvement plan and determine land use.

Two new ARFF trucks were being purchased: a rapid intervention vehicle, and an updated foam truck.  Infrared imaging systems are included in the new vehicles.  

Installation of security fence and access controls began before the September 11th attacks.  After the attacks, security must be increased even more.  A project to enclose the airport is in pre-design phase for spring/summer construction next year.

Mr. Weibrecht reported on other pending projects: infrastructure improvements totaling $5.7million over 5 years (a phased project to accomplish the following at a 80/20 split.): replacing sewer pipes in airport terminal drive and pave roads in ABP, install road from SSA past VTA to North Line Rd and design road and utility plan for Airline Drive (including water supply), redesign aviation lots.

The next area of ramp to be developed will be adjacent to the aviation lots at the ABP.  Security fences has superceded this work.

The following security issues and changes are being dealt with since the World Trade Center attacks: reduction in parking, explosive protection; new screening threshold and allowable items; reduction in carry ons; random baggage checks; passenger characteristics criteria for searches; revalidation and re-issue of airport identification badges; access point restrictions; unescorted access restriction; armed security 24/7; full time Law Enforcement presence; positive ID for all travelers, employees, air crews; restriction of freight service to known shippers; complete review of facilities; upgrade thresholds for requirements and compliance issues.

All scheduled flights are now screened.  There is a zero tolerance for hazardous items. The Airport now has an explosive detection device, and the newest in x-ray machines (this was donated.)

The Airport has made other changes as well, such as new barricades and signs, new parking areas.

The costs of security projects was reviewed.  The Terminal building modification to enclose a “sterile” holding area will cost about $200,000.  The video surveillance system will cost about $200,000.  The additional security fencing will be about $1.3 million.  Total improvements in a 12-month period will total about $1.7 to 2.0 million.

Funding sources include discretionary funds about the “AIP Entitlements” from FAA ($1.5million/year), state funding for airport security improvements, passenger fee assessments, local passenger fee assessments.

Mr. Weibrecht reviewed future operational expenses that may come up. These include security personnel when the Army National Guard leave in March 2002, permanent security, dedicated airport staff to screen, shuttles on site, seasonal help to assist passengers to remote parking.

The following were effects on operation as defined by Mr. Weibrecht:
Aircraft traffic was down for September vs. 00 by 25%.  Airline traffic was down September vs. 00 by 30%.
Air traffic in October recovered to within 15% (mtd.)
Airline traffic in October recovered to within 17% (mtd.)
Fuel sales for Sept. down vs. last year by 20,365.9 gallons (20% down)
Fuel sales for Oct. are flat through the 21st.
Nat’l car rental companies reflect less of a decline in Sept/flat Oct.
Local car rentals show decline of about 35% in Sept.
Returning to normal levels
Colgan Airways terminated temporarily

The Airport Manager said this would still be a good year number wise.  Revenues are strong, fuel sales are 5% ahead over FY 01 and 10% over 00.
Passenger traffic is recovering.  People are still vacationing to places like the Vineyard, chartering flights, etc.  

Commissioner Jason suggested that the County Manager send letters to Peter Valenti and Paul Ronhock, thanking them for their years of dedicated service at the Airport.  

Commissioner Collins said that the changes seemed to incur two types of expenses: fixed investments and on going costs.  He asked if there was an estimate for these.  Mr. Weibrecht said it depends on Congress and FAA.  

Mrs. Borer asked for an update on the water supply issue.  Mr. Weibrecht was scheduled to meet with Deacon Perrotta on Friday.  Commissioner Wey asked if the Airport intended to manage its own water.  Mr. Weibrecht said it had no choice.  

Break 8:35 PM.  Meeting resumed at 8:42 PM.

The County Manager reported that the Website should be up and running soon.  There was a Department Head meeting with Mr. Gilman, Personnel Attorney, in attendance.  Mr. Gilman reviewed personnel bylaws, changes in the Family Medical Leave and other pertinent issues.  In the spring, there will probably be a public hearing on personnel bylaw changes.  

Mrs. Borer reported that she was attending a procurement seminar.  Also reported, the Retirement Addition construction has begun and is due to be complete December 31, 2001.

The Barrier Beach Task Force met.  Discussed were crosswalks and the possibility of portable bathrooms on State Beach, also, installing more buoys along State Beach to keep boats out 150 feet.  The possibility of using dredging spoils from Edgartown’s dredging will be discussed.  

Mrs. Borer reported that the County’s Budget had not yet been passed.  

Commissioner Sawyer asked about the schedule for year end appointments. Mrs. Borer stated the usual timing, ads in late November, early December, letters of interest, appointment in January.  She noted the Martha’s Vineyard Commissioner appointment needs to be made before December 31. Commissioner Wey said he would be away starting December 11th to the second week in January.  He asked that all Commissioners be present for appointments.  Commissioner Alley said he was scheduled for surgery and would also be away in January.  He said he wanted to be present for the SSA appointment.  Mrs. Borer noted that appointments usually carry until new appointments are made.  Commissioner Wey said he wanted to do the appointments sooner than when Commissioner Alley returned, and suggested early December.

        Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the key appointments be held by
December 5th. Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion.

Discussion followed about whether or not there was time to advertise and do all the appointments by December 5th.  Commissioner Alley suggested doing just the SSA and MVC appointments and deferring the rest. Commissioner Wey added all seven members should be present.  Chairman Leland asked why not wait? Commissioner Sawyer said it should be done in December. Commissioner Flynn asked if there were time requirements.  Commissioner Alley mentioned he thought they should be done by the first Wednesday in January. Commissioner Jason said maybe that was prior to 1995.  Commissioner Alley said limit the appointments to just these two in December, by the 20th day of December.  Commissioner Jason said he would not be able to attend in December. Commissioners Flynn and Alley questioned if it was the Law that the appointments be done the first meeting in January. Mrs. Borer looked up the citation and noted that it was the Chairman’s election that the Commissioners were confusing with SSA and MVC.  Commissioner Wey reiterated he thought the appointment should be made on December 5.  

        Commissioner Alley Amended the Motion to read that the SSA and MVC
        Appointments be held December 5th.  Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the
        Motion as Amended.

The Motion was reread.  Commissioner Jason reiterated that he can not make it on December 5th.
        The Chairman called for the Vote.  Commissioners Alley, Collins
        Wey and Sawyer voted for the Motion.  Commissioners Flynn,
        Leland and Jason voted against the Motion.  The Motion carried.
        The MVC and SSA appointments will be made on December 5, 2001.

Chairman Leland congratulated Associate Commissioner Sandra Lothrop on her appointment to the Statewide Living Council.  

Commissioner Sawyer reviewed a letter released by New Bedford’s Mayor inviting selectmen and commissioners to meet October 27.  Commissioners Leland, Jason, Sawyer were expecting to attend.
Commissioner Jason Moved that the meeting adjourn.  Commissioner
Sawyer Seconded the Motion.  The meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.
Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.


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