Flandreau looks at larger runway

Flandreau’s main runway may be extended under a proposal that is not yet final.

The Flandreau airport runway will expand under a proposal to use mostly federal money for the improvements.
The extension will mean the main runway will shift slightly and would include a parallel taxiway, a rare component of an airport the size of Flandreau’s, according to Helms & Associates, which has been working with the airport since 2006 and on the length and width issue since 2009.
The layout has been given federal approval, and Flandreau City Council members also approved it at the July 6 meeting.
“It’s been a long, long process. We don’t want to stop. We want to aggressively move forward now before the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) changes its mind,” said Corey Helms.
The changes would mean the main runway would be 3,700 feet long, compared to its 3,100-foot current length. It also would increase in width to 75 feet, compared to its current 60 feet. The city also would need to acquire additional land for the project, which would be paid for by FAA, state and local money.
The airport plan also includes a certified weather station and a GPS navigational aid system, which is a safety factor for pilots. The additional length also would make it feasible for air ambulances to land at the airport, because they like a minimum of 3,500 feet.
The bulk of any project, once accepted, likely would be completed in 2025, Helms & Associates said. The city’s share of the cost may be about $250,000.
In other action,
•Council members approved the application by Sioux River Spirits for a retail, on-off sale license for beer and South Dakota wine sales. Owner Carleen Wild Wilson said she would like to do tastings and would like to have customers be able to sit down and have a glass of one of the beverages they sell.
•Titus Tollefson presented his ideas for additional signs reminding people not to litter in the community. The 10-year-old had written Mayor Dan Sutton about his concerns.
“I’m proud of him for coming forward and taking this initiative on,” Sutton said.
Tollefson said he sees trash when he is riding his bike around town.
 “Isn’t there already a law against it?” Tollefson asked. “Since I am still seeing trash on the street, I am asking if we could put a few signs up around town asking them not to litter, in case they don’t know or to remind them.”
Tollefson will get together with the mayor and City Administrator Jeff Pederson to discuss some effective ways that signs could be placed in the community.
•Council members voted to reissue Water Revenue Refunding Bonds because the interest rate is more favorable than when the bonds were first issued in 2000. The amount is not to exceed $550,000.
The $700,000 in bonds initially were sold to help fund the city’s connection to Big Sioux Community Water and were due to mature in 2041.

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