By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County is exploring an option for making the Spencer J. Hardy Airport safer.

Airport Manager Mark Johnson was before the County’s General Government and Health and Human Services Committee, earlier this week, seeking approval of a project to trim and remove trees encroaching on the airport. Johnson said that they last had them all trimmed to where they needed to be in 2006, and that its time for another round. He said that depending on the location, some trees will have 10 to 15-feet taken off of their tops, while about 110 will be removed altogether.

Commissioner Doug Helzerman asked if there was any reason they all couldn’t be removed and then the land be taken care of with mowing. Johnson said they are doing that on airport property, but some of the trees are on private property that they have a navigational easement to control the growth of trees on. Those landowners, Johnson said, have a say in whether the trees are trimmed or removed. He reiterated that everything on airport property will be removed at ground level and controlled with mowing.

Johnson said this work was budgeted to be done in 2021, but didn’t get done, and wasn’t budgeted for 2022. As a result, it will be paid for through the Airport Fund Balance, which will be paid back by one more grant from COVID finding that is coming, but not in place yet. The Committee approved the resolution authorizing a purchase order for the amount of $49,500 to Arbor Master Tree Service, Inc., which was the lowest bidder for the contract.

It will now go to the full Board of Commissioners for final approval.