City council discusses options for New Hampton Municipal Airport - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City council discusses options for New Hampton Municipal Airport

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by Danielle Wagner

NEW HAMPTON (KWWL) A need to save money means the future of the New Hampton Municipal Airport is up for discussion.

The annual budget for the airport is $13,000, which is money the city could use. But city clerk, Suellen Kolbet, said it's not just about money.

"It's the fact the people paying for it are not the ones are receiving the benefits," said Kolbet.

She says taxpayers aren't flying in or out. The airport isn't equipped to handle large planes because the runway is too short and there's no place to fuel up.

These days, only crop dusters use the New Hampton Municipal Airport.

Right now, three options stand out: shutting it down, getting those who do use the airport to pay for a portion of it or selling it.

"It's a nice place. It's clean. It looks good, but we have to make it worthwhile," said New Hampton Mayor Darwin Sittig.

No decision has been made, but at least one company has approached the city about possibly buying the airport.

"Some kind of AG company has approached the city about starting to negotiate, hasn't made an actual offer but has wanted to talk about the issue," said Kolbet.

If the airport is sold, city leaders want to make it clear other public areas at the airport such as a soccer field, saddle club and tractor pull should not be impacted.

A final decision needs to be made by January 1st, which is why the city council is talking about options now.

"Get it now and get everybody informed and have them come out and take a look at it and give us some points and ideas," said Sittig.

The community is invited to a meeting on Monday, Oct. 11 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will begin at the airport and then move to the council chambers.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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