Airport Authority

Boards, Commissions & Committees


The Regular Meeting of the Municipal Airport Authority of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. in the Airport Boardroom.

The members present or absent were as follows:
Present:Haugen, Cosgriff, Engen, Linn, Lind
Absent: None
Others: Bossart, Strand (via zoom)

Chairman Erik Lind presiding.

Approved the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Municipal Airport Authority Held March 9, 2021:
The minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Municipal Airport Authority held March 9, 2021, were approved without objection.

Approved the Airport Vouchers Totaling $55,740.24:
Gen. Haugen moved to approve the airport vouchers totaling $55,740.24. Second by Ms. Linn.
On the call of the roll, members Haugen, Cosgriff, Engen, Linn, Lind voted aye. No member being absent and none voting nay the motion was declared carried.

Approved the Individual Voucher to Mead & Hunt:
Mr. Engen moved to approve the individual voucher in the amount of $4,070.00 to Mead & Hunt for partial payment request for engineering services in connection with the Street and Apron Lighting Upgrade Project.
Second by Ms. Linn.
On the call of the roll, members Haugen, Cosgriff, Engen, Linn, Lind voted aye. No member being absent and none voting nay the motion was declared carried.

Approved the Individual Voucher to Mead & Hunt:
Mr. Engen moved to approve the individual voucher in the amount of $9,321.73 to Mead & Hunt for partial payment request for engineering services in connection with the Cargo Apron Expansion Phase IV.
Second by Ms. Linn.
On the call of the roll, members Haugen, Cosgriff, Engen, Linn, Lind voted aye. No member being absent and none voting nay the motion was declared carried.

Received February 2021 Passenger Report:
Mr. Dobberstein distributed the February 2021 passenger report. He stated YTD through February we are down 52.5% and February 2021 vs. 2020 we are down 47.4%, which is tracking with the national trends. He also provided the ND Aeronautics Commission’s report for the eight commercial service airports in the state.

Discussed Proposed Update to the MAA Purchasing Policy:
Mr. Dobberstein stated the board reviewed the proposed purchasing policy at the last meeting and the changes discussed have been incorporated into this updated draft and asked for comments.

Mr. Cosgriff stated he would not call out a specific group by name within a policy, but rather describe the purchasing group. He stated as we transition to our own accounting system we will need to include a fixed asset addition requirement within the purchasing policy. He stated he does not know why we don’t just use the same policy the City of Fargo has adopted.
Chairman Lind stated he received a copy of the COF’s policy and it was 18 pages. He stated he does not think we need to make it that complicated. He stated we are our own political subdivision and we have the flexibility to include the things that would apply to us and leave out those that do not apply to us. He stated he is not in favor of adopting the entire COF policy. He stated we can certainly add some appendices.

Gen. Haugen stated he is in favor of saving money and giving equal opportunity to businesses to sell to us. He stated in the recent past, because of our purchasing policy, we were able to save in excess of $100,000 on the purchase of a motor grader. He stated he is much more interested in the outcome for the citizens than the process. He stated we can make the process cumbersome and bureaucratic and end up spending a lot more money.

Chairman Lind stated he likes the addition of the Sole Source Procurement and the Emergency Purchases. He stated he also likes the idea of the piggyback procurement.
Mr. Cosgriff stated we also need to stay in alignment with the federal requirements. He stated a policy is to make certain we meet all requirements and is intended to justify what has been done.

After further discussion, Chairman Lind summarized that we will add appendices for the sole source procurement form and a fixed asset addition form and bring back the revisions to the board at the next meeting.

Received and Approved Proposed Contract from Mead & Hunt for Phase I Airport Property Environmental Clearance Review for Future Project Development Areas:
The proposal from Mead & Hunt for Property Environmental Clearance Proposal for Future Projects dated January 29, 2021, was received and filed without objection.
Mr. Jeff Klein, Mead & Hunt, was recognized and stated whenever there is a proposed project on airport property, whether it be an MAA project or a private project, the FAA requires a level of environmental clearance. He stated if the MAA is doing a construction project on the airport that environmental work would be part of the engineering contract. He stated if a private entity comes to the MAA with a request, for example, to construct a hangar and if it is a project they are looking to expedite, the environment approval process often takes a long time and delays the approval and start of a project. He stated he and Mr. Dobberstein have been in discussion with the FAA on how that problem can be alleviated. He stated the outcome of that discussion was to do a stand-alone environmental project to clear certain areas of the airport. He stated we have identified areas on the airport that have been previously cleared from an environmental aspect, and areas that are seen as priority areas for development in the next five years. He stated this proposal would include doing all of the field work for environmental clearance. He stated the price for the work under this proposed contract is $68,840.

Mr. Klein stated this proposal does not include any services that would result from findings as a result of the archaeological survey or the wetland delineation portion of the field studies.

Mr. Dobberstein stated the most urgent area is the north general aviation area. He stated he sees some areas that are not included on this map and he would like to revise the map and bring it back to the board for approval.

Received and Approved Proposed Request for Proposals for Professional Employer Organization Services:
The proposed Request for Proposals for Professional Employer Organization Services was received and filed without objection.

Mr. Dobberstein stated he updated the public notice we put out in 2019 for Professional Employer Organization Services. He stated with the board’s approval we will get the advertisement to The Forum by Friday in order to stay on the schedule in our transition plan. He stated the ad will run for two weeks and proposals will be due by April 14. He stated the board will then officially receive the proposals at our meeting on April 27 with the plan to award a contract at our meeting on May 11.

Mr. Dobberstein stated at our next meeting he intends to have the representative from Hays Companies, Mr. Jon Heath, introduce himself. He stated Hays is managing the North Dakota Public Health Insurance Trust.

Mr. Engen asked if everything is in line for the COF to allow Blue Cross and Blue Shield to provide the history required for the airport employees.

Attorney Bossart stated it is included in our Term Sheet and the COF is more than willing to cooperate in that effort.

Ms. Linn stated she would like for us to make that request in writing and get a written response from the COF.

Mr. Dobberstein stated that should be a fairly easy process as BC/BS also administers the NDPHIT.
Second by Mr. Engen.
On the call of the roll, members Haugen, Clark, Engen, Linn, Lind voted aye. No member being absent and none voting nay the motion was declared carried.

Received Update on SP Plus/MAG US Parking Dynamic Pricing Project:
Mr. Dobberstein stated he and Attorney Bossart have reviewed a subcontract between SP Plus and MAG US Parking Management LLC. He stated they made a number of changes.
Attorney Bossart stated the substantive change she proposed was to not take their ability to bring a cause of action against each other and they accepted that change. She stated they also accepted the change of the percentage from 27% to 25%.

Mr. Dobberstein stated he will provide the board members with copies of the updated agreement for review.
Mr. Engen asked if the metadata gathered will be the property of the MAA.

Attorney Bossart stated she believes it will be the property of the MAA but she will confirm that and report back to the board.
Mr. Engen stated he would like to see a statement that the metadata belongs to the MAA and we will control the ability to dictate how it is used.
Discussed Parking Access Revenue Control System (PARCS) RFP Process:

Mr. Dobberstein stated we recently discussed the need to replace the equipment in the parking lots. He stated Jason Finch and Brad McAllister, SP Plus, have sent us an RFP format they created for use in the bid process for the replacement of the access revenue control equipment. He stated SP Plus is acting as our agent, much like our engineering firm would do. He stated SP Plus estimates the cost of this equipment will be $390,000. He stated he hopes to have that for the board’s approval at the next meeting. He stated SP Plus will be an integral part of this process as they are familiar with all of the vendors of this type of equipment and know which equipment will stand up in our climate.

Mr. Dobberstein stated the exit booths in the parking lot are original from 1986 and have outlived their usefulness. He stated this RFP could also include replacement of those booths. He stated replacement of those booths may trigger updated building codes so he has put SP Plus in contact with TL Stroh Architects for their expertise in that area. He stated we may want to look at something more like a parking exit plaza so the process could be bigger than just replacing the booths. He stated SP Plus will retain the services of TL Stroh Architects to help them through the process as far as building codes, etc.

Ms. Linn moved to approve the Request for Proposals for Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services and that we advertise for the required time.

Mr. Terry Stroh, TL Stroh Architects, was recognized (via zoom) and stated we are probably looking at the need to meet handicapped accessible codes in the booths. He stated insulation and weatherization will be another major issue.

Mr. Dobberstein stated this was just an update. He will have more information for the board at the next meeting.

Chairman Lind stated when he looks at the airport experience for our passengers, from the time they arrive to the time they leave, he looks at what we can fix. He stated the parking experience is broken right now and is long overdue for an upgrade on the equipment .

Received Draft Internal Operation Transition Plan:
The draft internal operation Transition Plan was received and filed without objection.
Mr. Dobberstein distributed copies of the plan and stated he made some slight revisions from the last version. He stated this is what we will submit to the City Commission and asked for input from the board members.

Ms. Linn asked if we will need input from Flint Communication on the requirement for recording MAA meetings.

Mr. Dobberstein stated we are currently recording the meetings via zoom and that should meet the requirement for making viewing of our meetings available to the public. He added we may need to add some technology as far as additional cameras.

Mr. Cosgriff thanked Mr. Dobberstein for his work on this transition plan as this is a monumental task. He stated this is also a rare opportunity to have the ability to pause and think about what happens down the road. He asked if we want to think about a consultant to look at the work flow from top to bottom and the pieces we will be picking up from the COF. He stated this would be a look at the overall system and the entire operation. He stated he knows we are under time constraints but we may want to look at this opportunity. He stated we might want to discuss whether we hire outside services or if there is a need to create staff positions. He stated he would also like to see an estimated cost by each line item in the transition plan. He stated some may be negligible but we will have some idea. He stated we are doing RFPs for some of the services but not on others and he asked why.

Mr. Dobberstein explained that we would not need an RFP for accounting and tax services as we established a relationship with a firm during the previous attempt at this process in 2019 and the proposed costs were well within our purchasing policy so there was no need for an RFP. He stated this firm (Balance Tax and Accounting) was selected at the recommendation of the COF’s audit firm, EideBailly. He stated as far as the software, we did a lot of background investigation with other airports and most of them use QuickBooks.

After further discussion, Mr. Cosgriff moved to draft a Request for Proposals for accounting services and software support.
Motion failed for lack of a second.

Chairman Lind stated this is a good start on the transition plan.

Mr. Dobberstein stated this is due to the COF by April 15 so any changes should be made as soon as possible.

Mr. Engen stated he thinks we should make certain the telephone numbers for the airport be released by the City of Fargo.

Mr. Cosgriff stated he would like to look at the workflow and see if we need to add any staff positions vs. using contract providers.

Ms. Linn stated the studies we have had done by ADK Consultants have shown the efficiency of the operation of this airport. She stated there were other airports included in the studies that are smaller, have larger staffs and much higher overhead. She stated she has no problem with taking a look at workflow, but there are so many good things about the way we have been doing things.

Received 2021 Airports United (AAAE/ACI) Legislative Priorities:
The 2021 Airport Legislative Priorities report on various issues from AAAE/ACI was received and filed without objection. He stated this information is also provided to our legislative representatives. He stated these updates are provided periodically throughout the year.

Received Airport Association of North Dakota Legislative Update:
The AAND Legislative Update No. 5 dated March 19, 2021, was received and filed without objection.

Mr. Dobberstein reviewed the highlights issues such as the loan program bonding bill with the Bank of North Dakota, SIRN Radio, Transportation Network Companies, airline taxation issue, eminent domain, etc.

Mr. Dobberstein stated the passage of SB2149 (TNC) will allow airports in the state to enter into agreements with TNCs to collect fees. He stated we will work with the other commercial service airports in cities in the state with TNCs to arrive at some consistency.

Ms. Linn stated she feels another parking survey would be valuable since we were not able to conduct those surveys in 2020 due to the pandemic. She stated those surveys give us a good idea of what our passengers want and how we can best serve them.

Mr. Dobberstein stated the earliest SP Plus would do that is December. He stated we don’t have a lot of Uber and Lyft traffic here right now. He stated we are starting to see some of the taxi services coming back.

Airport Construction and Security Update:
Mr. Terry Stroh, TL Stroh Architects, was recognized (via zoom) and stated they are working on a lot of final items on the new SRE building. He stated we may see a Certificate of Occupancy around April 5. He stated it may be a conditional permit as we are still waiting for completion of the retainage pond and that will depend on weather.
Ms. Linn stated she has mentioned it before but wants to see us have an open house when the building is done to give the public a look at the building and equipment it takes to run the airport.

Mr. Jeff Klein, Mead & Hunt, was recognized and stated Northern Improvement is working on a plan and schedule for getting started on the cargo ramp as soon as they are able.

Other Business:
COF Commissioner John Strand was recognized (via zoom) and stated we are going into a new era and he is committed to being the best bridge he can be between the MAA and the COF to ease into this transition and to help assure that we are all aiming for the best future we can. He thanked the MAA for all of their work on this process. He stated it is going to be an exciting time to enter into positively.

Chairman Lind stated he seconds those thoughts and looks forward to this new relationship and anticipates a seamless transition.

Mr. Dobberstein asked Mr. Strand if he had any comments on the Transition Plan.

Mr. Strand stated he has no changes or recommendations.

Mr. Dobberstein stated we did receive a special assessment notice from the City of Fargo on the North University Drive project. He stated we have forwarded this notice to the FAA for their review but we are anticipating a similar response to the 25th Street North assessment. He stated if it has no immediate benefit to the airport the FAA will not allow us to pay the assessment.

Attorney Bossart stated we will wait for the FAA’s determination and then follow the same deferment process with the COF. She stated the assessment will exist but it will be deferred.

Mr. Dobberstein stated the next task for the Airport Position Evaluation Committee is to review the positions for our Equipment Operators, Equipment Technician, and Operations Attendants. He stated they are currently in the range that is 30% between Step 1 and Step 11 and we will be looking at adjusting those ranges to meet the 36% range of all of the other airport positions that have been reviewed by the APEC for internal equity.

Attorney Bossart stated we are still operating under the existing MOU so the APEC would still be in play until termination of the existing MOU.
After further discussion, Mr. Strand stated he is certain the members of the APEC would be willing to wrap up their work on all of the airport positions and suggested we contact Jane Pettinger.

Chairman Lind asked Ms. Linn if she would be willing to contact Jane Pettinger to put this before the APEC.

Ms. Linn indicated she would contact Jane Pettinger.

Gen. Haugen gave an update on the Airsho this summer, July 24 and 25. He stated the Airsho Committee is working closely with state and county officials on any covid restrictions for the show. He stated they are still not certain on any restrictions that will be required by the TSA.

Adopted Resolution of Appreciation to Gen. Michael J. Haugen:
Ms. Linn was recognized and stated Gen. Haugen received a very prestigious award from the ND National Guard last week in Bismarck. She stated Gen. Haugen was the 2021 recipient of the “Always Ready, Always There” Award. She stated Gen. Haugen has been such an integral part of this airport during his term on the Authority and even years before that during his service with the NDANG, Fargo Airsho and the Fargo Air Museum. She stated she will miss his deep insight and professionalism. She stated when she was first appointed she appreciated his help and guidance.

Chairman Lind thanked Gen. Haugen for his service, especially for his time as Chairman and all of his leadership during the mediation process with the COF.

Gen. Haugen stated he wanted to thank Mayor Mahoney for nominating him to the Airport Authority and for the City Commission for approving his nomination five years ago. He stated you are never too young to lead and you are never too old to learn. He stated when you take the proper mix of learning and leadership and combine them you get wisdom. He stated yesterday’s press release reflects wisdom on the part of the City Commission and the Municipal Airport Authority. He stated he hopes that in some small way during his five years that he added some wisdom to that decision.

Ms. Linn offered the following resolution of appreciation and moved its adoption:

WHEREAS, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Haugen is about to complete a five-year term as a member of the Municipal Airport Authority, and
WHEREAS, Gen. Haugen has served the Airport Authority with distinction, giving unsparingly of his time and expertise in many areas, specifically in military and aviation issues, with contributions that have been significant to the growth and success of Hector International Airport, and
WHEREAS, during his year as Chairman he provided leadership during the mediation process and formulation of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Fargo, and
WHEREAS, Gen. Haugen’s work has helped to now lead us to a new relationship with the
City of Fargo and a more independent status of the Municipal Airport Authority of the City of Fargo,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Municipal Airport Authority does hereby thank Maj. Gen. Michael J. Haugen for his years of outstanding service and request that he not be a stranger and that he continue his interest in Hector International Airport.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be inscribed up on the permanent minutes of the Municipal Airport Authority and a certified copy of the herein resolution be forwarded to Gen. Michael J. Haugen.

Second by Mr. Engen.
On the call of the roll, Cosgriff, Engen, Linn, Lind voted aye. Haugen abstained.
The resolution was declared to have been duly passed and adopted.

Ms. Linn moved to adjourn until the next Regular Meeting to be held Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.
Second by Mr. Engen.
All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried. Time at adjournment was 9:28 a.m.