By Van Mitchell
Special to The Sun
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport Board Tuesday approved asking the Guthrie City Council to review and consider whether a Guthrie contractor is in possible default of contract on an almost $1.2 million airport construction project.
Curtis Brown of Garver Engineering told the board that it determined that Total Investment Company of Guthrie to be in default on the GERA Northwest Development, taxiway rehabilitation and Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) wiring project because of failure to perform the work in a suitable and timely manner, failure to ensure the work would be acceptable as defined in contract documents and failure to carry on the work in an acceptable manner.
“It is our recommendation that he is in default,” Brown said.
Wade Inman, owner of Total Investment Company, said via cell phone Thursday from Michigan that he was not aware of the GERA board request and didn’t’ want to comment further until he had more details.
‘This is the first I have heard of it,” Inman said. “At this point in time I want to find out a little bit more about it before I comment.”
GERA manager Justin Heid said in his airport manager’s report the project is only partially completed and was scheduled to be finished in June. He said the project likely would not be completed until this fall.
“Currently the taxi lane connection has been laid but not opened,” Heid said. “The wires have been trenched to the PAPIs but not hooked and the Northwest development area is still in the initial dirt work phase. Reports from Garver Engineering indicate that the contractor is past the half-way point of the project timeline, but less than 15 percent complete and greater than 90 days behind schedule.”
Guthrie City Manager Sereniah Breland told the board she would try and put the issue on the council’s next meeting agenda.
The council could ask the project insurance carrier to find the company in default and move forward with surety, which is a promise to pay one party a certain amount if a second party fails to meet some obligation, such as fulfilling the terms of a contract. The surety bond protects GERA against losses resulting from the principal's failure to meet the obligation.
If surety occurs then Total Investment’s contract would be terminated and the insurance company would send the project out for new bids.
In another matter, the board also approved a recommendation that the Guthrie City Council move forward with contacting GERA tenant Spirit Wing Aviation and advising them they are not in compliance of their lease.
Guthrie board member Joe Underwood said Guthrie City Attorney Randel Shadid has sent a series of letters to Spirit Wing advising them that they were not in compliance with their lease agreement by housing farm equipment at their facility.
Heid said Spirit Wing’s lease includes language that states exterior storage shall be prohibited.
“It’s an exterior storage issue rather than an aviation issue,” Heid said.
Underwood said this has been an ongoing issue for some time and he wants to see the equipment removed.
“The lease needs to be followed or why do we have it?” Underwood said.
In other matters, GERA board chairman Richard Geib of Edmond said a joint meeting of the Guthrie and Edmond City Councils will be April 19 at GERA to discuss GERA’s request to become an airport trust authority.
“It’s an important opportunity for everyone to get together,” Geib said.
Board members tabled action on adding installation of a self-service 24-hour credit card machine for low level fuel at GERA. Initial cost for the machine would have been $17,631 with funding coming from possibly both cities.
The board also took under advisement a list of services that Crabtree Aircraft Services who serves as GERA’s fix-based operator (FBO) could offer for the 2014 U.S. Golf Association Senior Open scheduled at Oak Tree National Golf Course in Edmond.
If GERA is selected as a destination airport for the event, then the FBO could agree to provide certain services including extended airport hours; an airport service attendant and wireless Internet services among other options.
In his GERA manager’s report, Heid told the board that Zivko has nearly completed work on Hangar No. 9; Herman Hogue and Stan Young have raised the steel structure for Hangar No. 17 and Buzz Holloway has withdrawn his letter of interest in building an eight-unit T-hangar.
Heid said there were no wildlife issues this past month and that USDA has performed checks on the airport property for bird, coyote and deer populations.
He added work is currently under way on planning for the 2013 GERA Community Day scheduled for Sept. 21.
The GERA board also changed leadership with Wade becoming the new chairman replacing Geib and Edmond member Rowland Denman serving as vice chairman.