Letters to the editor logo

Dear Editor,

On the Nov 3rd ballot, Grantsburg Village residents will be asked to vote on a referendum to decide whether to authorize the village to support the airport with government assistance or not. This airport has been part of the village for ¾ of a century. Government support would entitle the Village to leverage 95% of airport projects with federal assistance. This airport qualifies for $150,000/year in government entitlement funds. This money is not from taxpayers. It is collected through taxes on aviation fuel and aviation fees. If the village accepts these funds for projects such as repaving runways, adding hangars, installing fuel delivery systems, lawn and snow maintenance for instance, they are then obligated to maintain the airport for the life of those improvements.

This airport can be self-sustaining. As a matter of fact it is virtually self supporting now. Hangar leases, land leases for private hangars, renting airport land for farming, and allowing Burnett Dairy to spread whey on the adjoining fields, has almost completely kept the airport solvent. With just minimal help from the village, the airport will be able to cover the required 5% matching funds. If we install fuel service and build hangars for lease (all of which qualify for the 95%/5% grant money) the airport can easily earn the money required.

This airport can be a valuable asset to the community. We already have fly-ins, Young Eagles free flights for children, and hamburger socials. Our airport is used for military training, governors have landed here, and our existing hangars are full. We would like to increase these functions, developing trails for Crex Meadows, and an aviation campground, and outings for pilots to come and experience the good life in Grantsburg. We also intend to work with the area schools to teach young people about the opportunities in aviation and to help train them in that pursuit. To do this we need your support. Please vote yes on the referendum for KGTG, the little airport that could!

Rod Kleiss