PITTSTON TWP. — A more than $60,000 payment was delayed Thursday for a blast fence at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
When Steve Mykulyn, engineering director at the airport, gave his report on a change order for work connected with the recent demolition of the former terminal building and the construction of a new parking lot, he said a $207,588 change order needed approval. Part of it was for $61,500 for the blast fence, which is needed to keep particles and debris from being blown into the parking lot by jet engines and possibly damaging vehicles. The parking lot is being built where the terminal was once located.
Mykulyn explained the original bid specifications did not call for the correct type of fencing. He said it was brought to the airport’s attention when the fence manufacturer informed the contractor — TSE Inc., of Dunmore. Mykulyn said a change order was submitted to pay for the additional $61,500 for the correct fence.
Luzerne County councilman and airport board member Tim McGinley voted against paying the change order and the motion failed. McGinley then moved to pay it, less the $61,500 for the fencing. That motion passed.
“Somebody provided the wrong information,” McGinley said. “Somebody is responsible. I want to know if we have any recourse.”
The change order increased the payment to TSE for its part of the work to $1,300,700 from the original $1,093,112. McGinley noted that represented a 20 percent increase.
Mykulyn explained after the meeting the cost cannot be avoided. He said the correct fencing must be installed. He said he would discuss the matter further with the board and Airport Director Carl Beardsley.
“I’m not sure who is responsible for this,” he said. “But we have to install the correct fence.”
The fence manufacturer was Blast Deflectors Inc., of Reno, Nevada.
Mykulyn said the cost would not have been cheaper had the correct specifications been in the original bid package.
In other business:
• Beardsley reported the recent visit of a B-29 bomber used in World War II was well-attended. He said more than 1,600 people visited the airport to check out the huge airplane.
• Passenger numbers were up for May 2018 when compared to the average for the five prior years. Beardsley usually compares year-to-year, but he changed the method for this meeting. Passenger numbers have been down in recent months due to inclement weather and the loss of Florida direct flights by Allegiant Airline, which halted service here in January.
• Rick Sell, of Metz Culinary Management, reported that food and beverage service at the airport are up since the new TSA checkpoint has been moved. He said customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
• The board approved a contract with Maslow, Lumia and Bartorillo, of Wilkes-Barre, for a marketing agreement.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.