The voters in Grantsburg have a referendum on spending $1,425,000 to build a new runway for the airport. The Village’s costs are put at $55,000. At first glance that seems like a good deal; however all the extra monies come from Federal and State funds and we all know how the state and federal government get their money.
What the referendum question does not tell you is that by accepting these funds ($1,372,000) the Village becomes obligated to keep the airport open and maintain it to state and federal requirements at it’s own expense for 20 years. This is akin to a salesman getting his foot in your door and his hand in your pocket; but in this case the foot and hand will remain there for 20 years.
In 2017 the pilots group tried to get this project done and their main pitch was to promise that the costs to local taxpayers would be zero dollars. At the time they said they would raise hanger lease fees and hold fundraising events to cover costs to taxpayers. That turned out not to be true then, hasn’t been true since and certainly won’t be true in the future.
The current average cost to lease hanger space at the airport from the village is $228 a year. This includes use of the facilities and a car owned by the village is made available to pilots only. By comparison the cost to rent a seasonal campground space is $1,550, you get the use of facilities but no vehicle is made available. The campground usually makes more money than it costs.
Earl Mosley, Grantsburg