City council approves airport survey proposal

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/18/97.

The Paynesville City Council, at their meeting Wednesday nigh, was given a step by step proposal as to what it would take to return the Paynesville Municipal Airport to the state airport system.

Steve Whitcomb, chairman of the ad hoc airport committee, explained the committee had met with engineers and surveyors and settled on working with SEHĻs airport planners. In a letter to the committee Robert Cohrs, SEH airport planner, explained four tasks the city would need to complete to develop a new turf runway on an east/west alignment.

Task I has already been completed and did not cost the city anything. It involved using available data such as aerial photographs, county plat book, and USGS maps. SEH will refine the runway proposal developed by the Paynesville committee. A preliminary drawing shows the layout of the airport. Statistical analysis of wind coverage will be examined and utilized in finalizing a preliminary alignment for the proposed runway.

Task II, the next phase, involves some topographic survey work to establish runway end elevation and provide information for earthwork calculations.

≥Work on this phase will start when the snow starts to disappear,≤ Whitcomb told the council. ≥Surveyors would get a more accurate reading without the snow. Instead of establishing only one runway, it was decided we would establish two because of the existing development in the zone area at the end of the runway,≤ Whitcomb added.

Task III would take the data obtained from the surveys and develop a definite runway alignment and identify the runway length required for development. The final phase, Task IV, provides the city with cost estimates for constructing the runway and any additional items that might be needed, taxiways, lighting, etc. Total cost of all phases is $9,267.

Whitcomb recommended the council approve proceeding with Task II ($4,899) as the city had budgeted $25,000 for the ad hoc committee. Whitcomb added he had talked with Sparboe farm manager about airplanes flying over the chicken barns. The manager told Whitcomb that with the large fans in the barns, the chickens probably wouldnĻt hear the planes. He did not foresee any problems in the future.

Councilman Dennis Zimmerman felt it was important to follow the guidelines to see how the airport would work out with a different alignment.

Councilman Harlan Beek stated he didnĻt feel more money should be spent on the airport when they had better places to spend the money.

Councilman David Peschong said after attending the airport ad hoc meeting, the discussion had made him a convert to the proposal and he proposed the council move ahead with the SEH guidelines.

In other business the council approved a resolution ordering preparation of a report on improvements for a new lift station near H&L Express. This lift station serves the area west of Highway 55 and south of Minnesota Street. The present lift station was designed with an 85-gallon per minute capacity. With the development along Highway 23, the capacity is not big enough. The new lift station would have a capacity of 200 gallons per minute.

Ron Mergen, public works director, explained that none of the homeowners west of Highway 55 would be assessed for the new lift station, only the new businesses.

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