Osage City Airport Remains Eligible For Million Dollar Renovation

OSAGE CITY, Kan. (WIBW)-- Osage City could be on the verge of a major airport renovation, 25 years after voters first approved it, but council members seem hesitant to let it all take flight.

Osage City city council members approved an Airport Capital Improvement plan that keeps them eligible for a $4.1M renovation and area residents want the city to act now.

In 1989 Osage City residents voted to approve the use of federal funding from the FAA to improve the city's airport. 25 years later millions of dollars remain in limbo. Rick Potter, an Osage City resident believes the decision is obvious, saying, "It's not everyday the government hands you four million dollars in grant money."

Those in favor of the federal funding believe the city should take advantage. "For the future of Osage City and for the community and I think it will be a wonderful thing and really good improvement."

Councilman Leroy Stromgren believed the question that passed in 1989 should go back to voters again. "I think some of those that voted for this are gone, and some, like the Mayor, weren't eligible to vote," said Stromgren.

The FAA has agreed to fund 90% of improvement costs which included acquisition of more land and a longer runway that would allow larger planes to fly in and out of the city.

Residents are worried that if the city council doesn't find a way to foot their portion of the bill, Osage city will be left behind.

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. We don't know what could come but it does give us a chance to be prepared for better things," said Osage City resident Mark Handley.

Osage City city council members still have to figure out how the city can pay for their 10% of $4.1M before the FAA can make improvements.


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