Thursday, September 29, 2016

$116,000 project to start at Ionia County Airport

Improvements are expected to be coming to the Ionia County Airport.

The Ionia County Board of Commissioners approved a Michigan Department of Transportation grant agreement Tuesday to rehabilitate the runway at the airport. The budget for the project is $116,000, and includes crack sealing and paint marking improvements.

However, Ionia County will pay only $5,800 towards the repairs. The rest of the project will be covered by more than $104,000 in federal grants and $5,000 in state grants. Ionia County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jack Shattuck said the project will be completed as soon as possible.

“It's for the safety of people that use the airport that this needs to be done,” Shattuck said. “The cost share for the county is fairly low.”

The board of commissioners also approved a contract between the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan and the Ionia County Commission on Aging. The contract totals more than $360,000 to be used to provide programs, in-home services and meals for older adults in Ionia County.

Shattuck said the new Ionia County Commission on Aging Director Carol Hanulcik is doing a good job. Hanulcik started the position in May.

“I've heard a lot of good things from both employees and the people who use the programs,” Shattuck said.

Two requests by Ionia Central Dispatch 911 were also approved at the meeting.

The first request was to approve a contract with AT&T to convert equipment from copper to fiber cabling. Shattuck said the move may save the county money over time as technology continues to change.

The second was to move forward on a computer aided dispatch system for the county. The Ionia County Sheriff's Office, Belding Police Department, Ionia Department of Public Safety, Portland Police Department and Lake Odessa Police Department are working with Ionia Central Dispatch 911 to fund the project, according to county documents.

The goal is to get the system in place in 2017. Shattuck said the update could help in emergency situations involving multiple agencies.

“It will help officers concentrate on what they're doing, I've been told,” Shattuck said.

In other news, the board approved moving some of the records and documents that are stored at the former Ionia County Jail to a room owned by Mercantile Bank. The building, which was built in 1957, is next to the historic Ionia County Courthouse and is set to be demolished this fall to make room for a new courthouse.

“These are files people need to access all the time,” Shattuck said.


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