Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Dec. 24, 2001

Winsted airport's runway key decision in future development

By Ryan Gueningsman

To pave, or not to pave - that was the big question at Tuesday's Winsted City Council meeting.

Members of the airport commission were on hand to discuss with the council the possibility of paving the Winsted Airport runway.

Although this has been a topic of discussion for some time, the council felt that Winsted is at a point in its development that any plans for the runway will greatly affect future economic growth in the city.

One of the key issues is that the type of runway in place at the airport determines restrictions on building in the nearby area, including the city's industrial park.

After considering pros and cons of paving the runway, the council decided it needs more information before making a decision.

"We're obviously not going to decide anything tonight," council member Tom Ollig said.

A meeting will be conducted in early January to decide what direction to go with this issue.
2002 levy up 8 percent

The city's general fund levy went up 8 percent compared to last year, City Administrator Brent Mareck said.

The levy for 2002 will be $394,245, compared to last year's amount of $365,970.

The main reason for the increase is the loss of $100,000 from the homestead and agricultural credit given by the state.

Another substantial increase stemmed from curb, gutter, and street work done in 2000, according to minutes of a Dec. 4 budget workshop.

The cost of a thermal imaging camera for the fire department was spread over two years since this was a large increase in the budget, which came to $28,000.

In addition, health insurance costs went up, Mareck said.

Mareck noted that some people in town actually reported lower taxes on their statements.

New construction in Winsted helped offset the levy with a better tax base, he said.

"It's only going to be better once the industrial park gets going," Mareck said.


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