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Winsted airport project delayed until next year
Oct. 4, 2019

Ivan Raconteur

WINSTED, MN – Wet weather and a delay in receiving funding have resulted in the runway improvement project at the Winsted Municipal Airport being pushed back to 2020, City Administrator Adam Birkholz said during a council work session Oct. 1.

He noted that the city received the funds Sept. 23, but this was six or seven weeks later than anticipated.

Birkholz also said he has talked to R&G Construction, the contractor for the project, and learned that as a result of the late start and weather conditions, work will not be started this year.

Birkholz said he met with the airport commission to discuss options, and consensus was to begin construction as soon as possible in the spring, possibly in May.

Construction is expected to take about three months, plus six to eight weeks for turf establishment.

Relocation of a gas line on the west side of the project, which is already in progress, will continue. Relocation of the gas line on the east side of the project remains to be completed.

Birkholz said some project costs may increase, since the contract was based on the project being done this year. However, he noted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may cover the increased costs.

Utilities draft update

The council, during its work session Oct. 1, heard an update regarding a draft of the city’s utility ordinance from Deputy City Clerk Amanda Zeidler.

Some of the key changes include:

• the addition of definition of key terms;

• a connection section prohibiting private wells (all properties within the city are now connected to city sewer and water); and

• definitions for the line items on utility bills.

Birkholz reviewed policy changes that have been made to provide consistency between the city code and city policies.

A public hearing regarding the ordinance and policy changes is scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved information technology improvements, including a new server, replacement of computers, and more. The total cost of the project is $34,075, plus some ongoing monthly fees. The upgrades were in the budget.

• heard a department report from Metro West Inspections, the city’s building inspector. There have been 44 permits issued so far this year, compared to 67 at this time last year. Most were for re-roof and deck projects. There have been two new houses in Winsted this year, and three more permits were recently issued.

• heard from Birkholz that there is still a vacancy on the parks commission. Interested residents may contact city hall.

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