Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 8, 2000

Facelift in the works for Winsted airport

By Jane Otto

In an effort to improve the Winsted Airport and take advantage of federal money, the Winsted City Council okayed funding for an updated airport layout plan.

The layout is necessary if the city wants to access federal money which will be set aside for small airport development projects. The money will be available for a five-year period.

The federal government will pay 90 percent of airport project costs leaving the city with only 10 percent of the expense. To be eligible for these funds, the city must have an updated airport layout plan, of which the state will pay 60 percent of the costs.

City Administrator Aaron Reeves said if an airport does not use the money, in all likelihood it will not receive any funding in the future.

Of the $14,800 the council approved, a portion will cover the costs of sealcoating the areas around the hangars and a portion will pay the city's share for SEH-RCM engineers to provide an airport layout plan.

The city will also set aside dollars in the budget for the next few years so that it will have that matching money available when needed, said Reeves.

Luce Line Trail

The Department of Natural Resources ( DNR) plans to develop the Luce Line from where the developed trail ends in Winsted at County Road 9 to Hutchinson. Part of the trail would be along the airport.

After discussing the issue with Minnesota Department of Transportation, Reeves told the council a nearby trail could impact any future airport development.

It could possibly affect expanding the airport and may make the city ineligible for state and federal funding, said Reeves. The city decided not to issue any easements to the DNR until SEH-RCM engineers reviews the situation as part of the layout plan.

Brush site

Faced with illegal dumping at the brush site, the council wants to make the area more secure.

Cost for a security camera that would provide better clarity and more recording time, is $1,986 plus miscellaneous cable costs. For an infrared camera that has a 12x40-foot range , the city is looking at an additional $450. For a 70x150-foot range, the cost is $850 more.

Rather than make a hasty decision, Burns Security will come to the next meeting and demonstrate what it is these cameras can do.

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