The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ontonagon County Board hears airport update


June 20, 2018


OntonagonOntonagon County Airport Manager Margo Anderson updated the Ontonagon County Board Monday on the airport projects underway and those planned for the future.

She explained the next phase of an expanded runway clearing project is an environmental assessment. She noted any project which receives federal money, or requires federal permits, must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA.

“Since MDOT-Aeronautics money is being used, and a lot of those funds are federal, the project requires an environmental assessment and a subsequent finding of ‘No Significant Impact’ to proceed,” Anderson said.

The airport has many other hoops to go concerning the environmental assessment. Anderson explained because Michigan uses state block grants, the Michigan Department of Transportation-Aeronautics will be approving the document instead of the Federal Aviation Administration. However, the plan has to meet federal environmental requirements such as those from the Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Protection Agency as well as all state regulations and historical or archeological rules. “There are 22 environmental categories with 22 federal or state agencies with requirements for which we have to comply,” she said. She added that after the environmental assessment is determined, permits are obtained from the applicable agency and the project moves to the pre-construction phase.

Should the county decide against proceeding with the environmental assessment, airport funds for Ontonagon will be shifted to another airport.

Anderson said the planners Mead and Hunt will provide an updated proposal by the end of the week, and the board will have an opportunity to learn details of the proposal.

In other action:

—The Ontonagon Courthouse is now a weapon-free zone. Signs have been placed in various offices and the board agreed to place a sign at the main entrance to the courthouse.

—At the request of Treasurer Roselee Slocum, the board accepted the taxable value of the county for 2018, certified the tax forms and authorized the spreading of the levy.

—The board appointed Al Warren and Don Chastan to the land bank for three-year terms and hired Tanya Flink to fill the position in the friend of the court and prosecutor’s office. The board also approved transferring $25,000 from the general fund to the Land Bank Authority.

—Sheriff Dale Rantala didn’t support a Greenland Township request for the county to support a K9 officer. He said the first priority of the department has to be hiring more deputies and a K9 was not fiscally responsible at this time.

—The board granted Triest Logging’s request to use a county logging road adjacent to the private logging operation.


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