Silver Bay makes stand on airportThe Silver Bay City Council rejected Monday the idea of having Airport Commission Chairman Tom Porter attend a forum on airports in Alexandria next month. The measure failed by a 3-2 vote with council members Dave Gustafson and Mayor Scott Johnson voting in support of Porter going.
The Silver Bay City Council rejected Monday the idea of having Airport Commission Chairman Tom Porter attend a forum on airports in Alexandria next month. The measure failed by a 3-2 vote with council members Dave Gustafson and Mayor Scott Johnson voting in support of Porter going.
Gustafson said there would have been some programs that may have helped Silver Bay’s airport situation – the council is thinking of closing it to save money, plus use is down at the facility. Those who rejected the idea cited not wanting to put more money toward the airport.
Gustafson said the trip would have cost $500-$600, minus a $300 donation. He said there is still a possibility of Porter going if another donation is made.
About 95 percent of funding for the airport comes through grants while the rest is from the city. It costs Silver Bay about $10,000 a year to run the facility using no city employees. The city has received a total of $71,000 from the state and more than $1.5 million from the federal government.
If the city decided to close the airport, it could be forced to pay back grants it received for the facility since 1967. Some council members recently spoke with U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and he offered some insight on how to support the airport, such as having more publicity for the facility.
Gary Stevens, a Silver Bay resident and former pilot, has been named to the Silver Bay Airport Commission. The city has open spots on its public works and liquor commissions. Those interested should call City Hall at 226-4408.
In a closed session, the Silver Bay City Council discussed purchasing two parcels of land, about three acres total, near the Mariner Motel. City Administrator Lana Fralich said she could not discuss the matter any further but there is no plan to buy the Mariner Motel. The meeting was closed to the public, Fralich said, because it dealt with price negotiations with the landowner.
Minnesota’s Open Meeting law allows for the closed meeting. Any agreement reached based on talks at a closed meeting are contingent on approval of the public body at an open meeting. The actual purchase must be approved at an open meeting and the purchase price is public data.