SCRAA Appoints Legal Counsel

The South Central Regional Airport Agency [SCRAA] met to discuss legal counsel and engineering firms for the new regional airport.

The South Central Regional Airport Agency (SCRAA) met to discuss legal counsel and engineering firms for the new regional airport.

Pella, Iowa – The South Central Regional Airport Agency (SCRAA) met Wednesday evening to appoint legal counsel and to discuss the procurement process for engineering services.

Resolution No. 19 would appoint Brick Gentry P.C. as the legal counsel for the South Central Regional Airport Agency over the next three years.

The SCRAA board had recently solicited bids for legal counsel, and three proposals “were received from very qualified firms,” said Mike Nardini, a staff member for SCRAA. Nardini is also the City Manager for Pella, Iowa.

“Overall the firms were evaluated based upon the qualifications,” said Nardini. “The ability to respond in a timely fashion to requests from the agency. Relevant municipal government experience as well, we thought, was a key factor.”

Nardini said they also evaluated firms on their knowledge of property acquisition by government entities.

Nardini said that the executive committee was recommending the appointment of Brick Gentry P.C. as the agency’s legal counsel.

SCRAA Chairperson Jim Hansen said he believes Brick Gentry “would be a really good fit for what we’re doing here. They will help with various aspects as we move to the next phase.”

Brick Gentry is also the legal counsel for Polk County Aviation Authority [Ankeny Regional Airport], and serves as city attorney for several cities in the Des Moines metro area.

The SCRAA board then discussed the process for procuring engineering services for the next phase of the regional airport project.

The two components of the engineering would be land acquisition services for the project and engineering design and construction observation services.

Nardini said that federal guidelines require a skills based evaluation when the board selects an engineering firm. Fees for services cannot be considered during the assessment process.

The board has presented a packet of information which included the RFP or request for proposal. Nardini said that the FAA had approved the RFP.

Nardini said that four proposals had been received from engineering firms and board members will be evaluating those proposals utilizing a similar process used before in selecting consultants for the project.

Nardini asked that the board members submit their completed evaluations by August 16th.

After the evaluations are submitted, the executive committee will whittle the four candidates down to two, which will be presented at the August 24 meeting to be held in Oskaloosa.

The South Central Regional Airport Agency is the government body responsible for planning and building a regional airport between Oskaloosa and Pella.

Three municipalities initially signed the 28E agreement that created the agency. Pella, Oskaloosa and Mahaska County.

Mahaska County has since said they are no longer involved in the project, and unilaterally voted themselves out of the project. Both city councils voted to deny the move by Mahaska County.

The legal dispute about Mahaska County’s maneuver has yet to surface in the courts, but Mahaska County diverted $50,000.00 of its budget to legal fees for this fiscal year.

Those funds were primarily taken from the Mahaska County Sheriff budget, leaving the department unable to purchase a replacement squad car for its deputies.

Mahaska County could also be facing liquidated damages for its decision to depart from the 28E agreement. The liquidated damages clause allows for a $250,000.00 fine for each incident to be imposed.

Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Doland said that the resolution used for the county to part ways from the 28E agreement was written by outside legal counsel and claims the county doesn’t need permission from the other municipalities to leave the agreement.

Joe Warrick was Mahaska County’s representative to the SCRAA board, and Doland dismissed Warrick when the county board of supervisors voted to leave the 28E agreement.

Since then, the SCRAA board continues to recognize Warrick as a member. Warrick also served on the executive committee for the SCRAA.

The SCRAA has taken no official stance on the dispute between its founding partners.



Posted by on Aug 12 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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