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Mayoral candidate questions contract for airport engineer

Chamlin & Associates get 5-year pact by statute

Chamlin & Associates, Inc. of Morris was again approved as the city’s consulting engineers for the Morris Municipal Airport, but not without question from a mayoral candidate.

Every five years, according to state statute, the city has to go to bid for an engineering firm for the airport. Chamlin was approved unanimously, with four aldermen — Ken Sereno, Drew Muffler, Duane Wolfe and Bill Martin — absent.

“Why three months from the election, when the (next) mayor will have a four-year term? Why a five year contract?” asked Independent mayoral candidate John Brooks.

Brooks will face incumbent Mayor Richard Kopczick, Democrat, and Alderman Drew Muffler, Republican, in the April 9, 2013, election.

“It’s something we have to do every five years, regardless of the election,” said Julian Houston, alderman and Airport Committee Chairman.

Brooks asked if the contract could be for a shorter amount of time, such as a two-year contract.
Mayor Kopczick explained state statute mandates a five-year contract.

The contract was put out to bid and the city received bids from other companies that do more with larger airports, but Morris — being a small airport — doesn’t need the extra services those provide, said Alderman Randy Larson. Chamlin was the best financial choice and is the most familiar with the city’s airport.


In other business, the council heard from Morris Cruise Night founder Herb Wyeth on the organization’s plans for this year. The cruise night committee wants to do five dates again this year.

Last year was the first year for the fifth date, which was in conjunction with the Lions Club Car Show, but bad weather caused the Lion’s Club show to be rescheduled and, therefore, the Cruise Night to be rescheduled as well.

They were still able to raise money, regardless of the date change, said Wyeth.

This year, he hopes to have a more successful event for the fifth date.

The cruise nights will continue to be the second Saturday of the month, starting in June, with dates of June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.

This past cruise night season was the 11th for the Morris Cruise Night shows in downtown Morris. The shows have raised more than $165,000 for local charities over the years, said Wyeth.

“This year was a big year for us; we became a 501c3 corporation (non-profit),” Wyeth said.

“We’re very proud of our cruise nights and intend to keep in the same positive form it has been in the last 11 years,” he said.

At the next council meeting the city will vote on the dates for 2013.

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