PI County seeks proposals for airport purchase

ROGERS CITY — The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners decided it no longer wants the Leo E. Goetz Airport in Onaway appraised but will instead accept requests for proposals from individuals willing to buy the property.

Commissioners had agreed at its March 29 meeting to solicit vendors to appraise the property, but rescinded that motion on Thursday.

County Clerk Ann Marie Main said she received a suggestion from an outside firm that the county consider an RFP, which would include a written proposal to the county as to what an individual or firm would pay and what they would use it for.

“Usually, we create an RFP and people would bid on that packet,” Main explained. “Well, this is actually kind of the opposite. They’re bringing to us what they would do with the property. So they’re creating a proposal and bringing that forward and then the board can decide, based on that as a whole, what would be best for everybody.”

Main said the RFP would provide commissioners with a different option than an appraisal, through which they might set a price for the property but then have no offers or have the property go undeveloped.

Commissioners decided to close the airport in February because the county could no longer afford to fund its deteriorating infrastructure.

County attorney Joe Kwiatkowski also updated the board on the termination of lease agreements for hangars at the airport. The board agreed to terminate the leases in January, and instructed Kwiatkowski to send the letters of termination to the leaseholders at that time.

Kwiatkowski explained to the board Thursday there’s language in the leases that allows the leaseholders to remove any improvements they made to the property. He said they needed to come up with a deadline for the five leaseholders to get back with the county.

“I proposed to have them tell us within 10 days of the date of the letter what their intention is with respect to improvements they made,” Kwiatkowski said, adding he is getting ready to send those letters out.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

In other business

Also discussed at Thursday’s Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners meeting:

∫ County Clerk Ann Marie Main informed county attorney Joe Kwiatkowski she had received a letter from the attorney representing Mike and Stefani Schulte, the former Moltke Township residents behind a petition to force the county’s wind turbine ordinance to a public vote. The letter, a copy of which was provided to The News by the Schultes, included proposed ballot language for the Aug. 6 vote. Main appeared to have a copy of the letter at the meeting, but would not share it with The News, saying it was not finalized.

∫ The board learned its insurance company, Tokio Marine, will not –at least at this time — cover legal expenses related to a lawsuit over property foreclosures filed against 80 of the 83 counties in the state. Main said the county has paid $1,600 to legal counsel over the last two months.