City of Prospect Heights Chicago Executive Airport Board of Directors met June 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
I. Call to Order and Roll Call
Chairman Harris called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM. Roll call confirmed the following present: Directors Donohue, Kearns, Kiefer, Lang and Saewert. Absent: None.
Also in Attendance: Jamie Abbott – Executive Director
George Sakas – Director of Economic Development
Jason Griffith – Director of Finance
Jennifer Pfeifer- Recording Secretary
Tom Lester – Attorney
II. Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Harris led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.
III. Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Director Saewert and seconded by Director Donohue to approve the minutes from the May, 15 2019 Regular Board Meeting. The motion was approved by voice vote. Ayes: Directors Donohue, Kearns, Kiefer, and Saewert. Nays: None. Abstain: Director Lang. Absent: None.
IV. Changes to the Agenda
Executive Director requested a change to the agenda to add a IV.A. for awards and presentations. The Chairman presented the change to the Board and all agreed.
The Chairman invited Neal and Denise Katz to the front of the room and spoke about Neal’s retirement from the Board of Directors. He said that Neal is leaving the organization better than when he found it. He thanked Neal for his passion and representing the communities, general aviation and CEPA. He presented Neal with a signed Airport picture and lamp.
Neal spoke about his six years as a Director and his passion for the airport, the relationships he’s developed and how he has supported the residents and the Board. He will always be an ear and voice for the Airport. He thanked his wife for her support and said the board has been a lot of work and hours away from family. Denise Katz agreed that the Board and Airport truly has been Neal’s passion.
V. Public Comments
Phil Mader spoke about the noise program which is appreciated by the residents. He is wondering what other measures to abate noise will be taken and asked Jamie to get back to him on this.
VI. Hearing and Reports A) Treasurer’s Report
Director Saewert said operating revenues were above budget for the first operating month of the fiscal year, and operating expenses were below budget. This will even out when the Customs facility project begins. He said Jason is involved with Sikich and the audit which is expected to be done one to two months earlier than in past years. Director Saewert is reviewing policies, has met with the new Customs agent and is finalizing the cash flow projections for the next five years.
B) Executive Director’s Report.
Executive Director, Jamie Abbott, reported on the following:
On behalf of the staff, especially the guys in the back, he thanked Neal Katz for his work on the Board.
He introduced Brad Ross, the summer administrative intern. He has already done a great job on a number of projects.
He introduced Penny Merritt from C&S Companies who will be managing the Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP). The RSIP office is expected to open after September 1st.Penny spoke about the program and said she has already begun to look at the noise contour maps in order to identify homes that may qualify for the program and develop a letter to send out to residents. She will be meeting with the City and the Village regarding permits. She has started a policy and procedures manual and said this manual must be approved by the FAA, which will take about 90 days.
Chairman Harris asked if Penny will attend the July 11th open house. She said she can plan to be at the open house. He also asked if CEA is integrated with C&S and Jamie said that Cody has been in contact with Penny and her C&S team already.
Director Kiefer asked if any tests or trials on homes will take place this season. Penny said 30 homes within the most affected neighborhoods will be chosen to be tested and from those ten will be selected for the first year pilot program.
Director Kearns asked for more clarification on the additional FAA approvals and Penny said the FAA will need to approve the policy and procedures manual before the program can move forward. Jamie will look into what else the FAA might need to approve.
Director Saewert spoke about the problems with replacement windows at Midway and Penny said that manufacturer is not longer in business and she explained what happened.
Jamie said there will be a report under New Business about the U.S. Customs facility from 845 Design Group.
There will be a Master Plan Open House on July 11th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It will be advertised via social media and in the newspaper.
Jamie conducted airport tours for newly elected officials to inform them about the airport.
He just returned from the AAAE conference and will have a report on it soon.
He has been invited to speak on a panel at an upcoming ACI/AAAE conference in Seattle regarding our Residential Noise Insulation Program.
Public Relations report
o New ads (BMW golf championship, Rock n Run the Runway and Master Plan) and “one pager” have been created or updated.
o E-mail distribution has been set up in Mail Chimp for event flyers, news and announcements.
o Cody has provided strategic counsel on few recent issues.
Noise comment reports were presented.
o CABAA event on June 20th
o Wheeling Parade on June 23rd
o Rock and Run the Runway on June 29th
o Master Plan Open House on July 11th
o Collings Foundation WWII bombers event July 25-28
Director Kearns commented that he would like the noise comment detail report each month.
C) Director of Economic Development – George Sakas
❖ Aviation Academy – George spoke about the success of the program and expected future expansion.
❖ U.S. Customs facility – the Hangar 4/7 site has been officially chosen. He spoke about disposal and clean up at the site, demolition RFQ and specifications, utility separation and asbestos cleanup. He hopes to have a demolition award contract for the August meeting.
❖ He spoke about Public Relations.
❖ He reported on the Urban Air Mobility Conference has attended last week.
❖ He is working with the summer intern, Brad, on updating the property book which will be completed before the September meeting.
D) CMT Report – Kyle Peabody
❖ Working on the scope of work and bids for Hangar 4 demolition.
❖ Master Plan – creating the development summary, aerial photography and
preparing materials for the open house
❖ Runway 12/30 rehabilitation – finished the shop drawings
❖ Pavement repairs are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday nights after the 5K.
❖ East Quad Access Rd – met with IDOT last week, working on shop drawings and contractor coordination.
Chairman Harris asked if Hangar 4 demolition is expected to take place during the current construction season. Kyle said yes but the construction start will not start until Spring 2020. Chairman Harris also asked if the new public relations firm has integrated with CMT on the Master Plan and Kyle said yes.
Director Kiefer questioned all the projects going on at the same time and Jamie assured him that Airport Operations staff is ready to handle multiple projects.
E) Board Member Comments
• Director Kiefer spoke about Neal being a mentor and friend with passion for the airport. He also said he is happy to see groundbreaking on projects but is still concerned about noise issues.
• Director Lang appreciated Neal being on the board, his passion and hard work. He gave a Village of Wheeling update about Industrial Lane; said the plans are finalized and sewer, water and storm drainage are included.
Property owners will need to connect to the new system and the street will be nicely paved and have green space.
• Director Kearns told about speaking many evenings with Neal and his passion for the airport. He announced that August 26th is the Dollars for Scholars golf outing and raffle tickets are available; contact him for more information. He asked Director Lang when Industrial Lane is expected to be complete. Director Lang believes either fall or spring because it is a small project; hopefully this will alleviate the cars parked everywhere.
• Director Donohue spoke about Neal and his personal guidance. He said it is good the Master Plan is moving forward.
• Director Saewert said he liked Neal, he was one of the first to welcome him to the Board of Directors and had well thought out ideas for improvement of the airport. His business sense will be missed.
F) Correspondence and Chairman’s Comments
Chairman Harris said he will miss talking with Neal. He said we are all cheerleaders for the airport and encouraged everyone to see the WGN stories about the Aviation Academy and the rescued pets flight. He noted that not many GA airports have a noise program. He spoke about the upcoming parades and Rock n Run the Runway events. He said several government officials have been invited to attend.
VII. New Business
A.U.S. Customs Facility Discussion – 845 Design Group;
Jamie spoke about the facility being built on the Hangar 4 site and said that Megan from 845 Design Group will talk about the reduced size of the facility. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is willing to work with us and showed a cooperative effort.
Megan Harte from 845 Design Group presented the revised floor plan that was reduced in size by almost 1000 square feet. She met with CBP at the end of May. She referred to the facility at UGN and applied it to our facility plan. CBP wants the project to move forward. She presented the most recent floor plan and spoke about the different areas that were reduced.
Director Saewert asked about the processing area in the facility plan and spoke about the number of Customs operations. He shared that our current data shows less than ten people need to use the waiting room at a time. Megan replied that CBP may consider a smaller room if we have data to show them. Director Saewert said that he would prefer only one waiting room.
Chairman Harris asked how often CBP updates the facility guidelines. Jamie said that historically it is not updated often. Chairman Harris said he would like to see an existing facility at a comparable airport out of curiosity. Attorney Tom Lester shared that RFD built one ten years ago and it has remained unchanged. Chairman Harris asked if new additional activities will be conducted at the new facility that are not happening at the current facility. Megan said there is room for additional staff, but they have not discussed anything else. Chairman Harris asked if this is the final plan if CBP accepts and Megan said yes. He also asked if customers will be able to get off their aircraft and leave from the new facility. Director Donohue explained how a typical charter flight works. Jamie added that a nicer facility for Customs makes sense.
Director Kearns asked what “SLA” stands for and Megan said it is secure storage. He also said the current facility is not adequate and spoke about the status of passengers on flights coming to PWK from outside the U.S.
Director Lang asked if there is a log of hours of actual usage at the current facility and would like future data compared. Jamie said he will compile some current data. Director Lang spoke about a tenant who is concerned about the new facility and procedures and Jamie said he will inform the tenant about the new facility and rules.
Director Kiefer spoke about the economies of scale if there is only one waiting room. Megan said the rooms have been sized based on data and vestibules are at the code minimums. Director Kiefer spoke about current customs operations and believe passengers will not use the waiting room at the Customs facility and will go back to the FBOs instead.
Director Donohue said if the footprint was reduced by 20%, what is the cost reduction? Megan said the cost reduction is not known yet. She said this is the third or fourth time she has met with CBP and they are probably not going to reduce the size much more. She said they have been working on materials costs savings too. Director Donohue shared his experience at other airports and pointed out that this facility will allow growth.
Chairman Harris asked for a consensus on a maximum size of 3333 square feet and 845 Design Group will work to reduce the size of the waiting room. Directors Kearns, Donohue, Kiefer and Lang are fine with the facility as is. Director Saewert would like to save on space. Chairman Harris asked 845 Design Group to move forward, please get further reductions in size if possible and thanked them for their partnership.
B. Resolution 19-019 – A Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Claims;
A motion to approve was made by Director Kiefer and seconded by Director Saewert. The motion was approved by roll call. Ayes: Directors Donohue, Kearns, Kiefer, Lang and Saewert. Nays: None. Absent: None.
C. Resolution 19-020 – A Resolution Approving and Authorizing the Execution of the Real Estate Contract for Purchase and Sale Relating to 201 Industrial Lane and Authorizing the Execution of Such Other Documents as Necessary to Close on the Purchase;
A motion to approve was made by Director Donohue and seconded by Director Kearns. The motion was approved by roll call. Ayes: Directors Donohue, Kearns, Kiefer, Lang and Saewert. Nays: None. Absent: None.
There was no Executive Session.
IX. Action Taken from Executive Session, if required
At 7:19 p.m. a motion was made by Director Donohue and seconded by Director Kearns to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved by voice vote. Ayes: Directors Donohue, Kearns, Kiefer, Lang and Saewert. Nays: None. Absent: None.