Steve Whitcomb, chairman of the ad hoc airport committee, reported to the council on the airport progress.
Paynesville has received a certificate of approval for the proposed airport site. The committee is addressing plans for a 3,700 foot turf runway with an ultimate goal of a 4,000 foot bituminous paved runway.
The next step in the process is to develop an aeronautical forecast, airport layout plan, zoning protection profile, and justification for facility. To cover the next phase, Whitcomb asked the council for $21,000 to hire a consultant to put all the data that has been compiled together.
Councilman Harlan Beek stressed the project is too rich for the city to bear and is opposed to the project.
"I've heard a lot of reports, but haven't seen any data on how the proposed airport will benefit Paynesville economically," Beek said. "We are talking big dollars and I feel the city has too many other needs that need to be addressed before spending the money on an airport."
Councilman Dennis Zimmerman said they have done traffic counts at the airport, visited with people who regularly use the airport and compiled letters from area residents, businesses and pilots who feel the upgraded airport will benefit Paynesville.
Thus far $9,267 has been spent on different studies. This amount has been covered equally between the city and Paynesville Township. Sixty percent of the city/township expenditures will be reimbursed by the state aeronautical division.
The council approved the request for $21,000 for the next phase of the project.
Whitcomb stressed that anyone wishing more information on the proposed airport should feel free to contact him or Dennis Wilde, city administrator. They both have copies of the airport layout and the letters of recommendation.
Pete Carlson, city engineer, informed the council things are going well on the 1998 street improvement project.
"Crews will be starting the pipe work on Augusta Avenue soon, which is the last street. S.J. Louis Construction, St. Cloud, has started grading the roads and portions of Washburne Avenue have already received curb, gutter and sidewalks," Carlson said.
Carlson added all the pipe work should be completed by Memorial Day and by the middle of June, crews will start laying the first bituminous layer on the streets. The second bituminous layer usually isn't completed until the sod work is completed.
Carlson asked the council to consider when they would like to have the sod laid. Sod farms don't like to deliver sod the end of June or in July as it will require a lot of extra watering. It is best to wait until August or September to lay sod.
"If the sod is placed at the end of the project, residents along the streets involved will need to water the sod daily," Carlson stressed.
In other business...
The council approved making the first payment to S.J. Louis in the amount of $188,652 for work completed on the 1998 street project.
council approved making an extra payment of $680,000 on the Farmers Home Administration bonds from 1994. "By paying off some of the future principal payments, this will enable the city to reduce the level of sewer and water revenues needed to help pay off the debt," Wilde told the council.
The council approved rezoning the area behind the Grace United Methodist Church, a conditional use permit and vacating the alley behind the church for a proposed construction project.
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