Letter to Editor: Speak out about Osage City’s airport project

Dear Editor:

Below is a comment that was blogged in www.osagecityairport.com. That website is a venue for citizens to talk anonymously regarding improvements for the airport in Osage City. The comment here is from a person who chose to use the name “osagecitykid”.  It states the facts clearly. I encourage citizens to check out the airport blog. There is an opportunity to cast an informal vote for or against the project. In “osagecitykid’s” words, here is the comment:

“Regarding the Municipal Airport issue, Casey Mussatto has stated the facts of the issue politely and succinctly in his letter from the economic development commission to the council, and it bears repeating here for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

(Casey Mussatto’s letter to the editor is here.)

“Quote: ‘The choice before the council was fairly simple. They could stop the airport improvement plan that was adopted in 1988 and pay back all prior plan monies and forgo the maintenance money that makes it affordable to maintain our airport. Or, they could continue the plan and pay the 10 percent, which not only improves our airport, but secures future maintenance money. Now, some council members advocate stopping the project.’

“The important part here?

“If the council wishes to find a way to refute the original citizen’s votes on this issue, they should consider very, very carefully what Mr. Mussatto pointed out in his letter.

“The City must PAY BACK all prior plan monies AND FOREGO ALL FUTURE FEDERAL MONEYS which pay 90 percent of airport maintenance costs if we do not go ahead with the improvement process.

“The point that needs to be emphasized is that these are our federal tax dollars being given back to us in an unmistakably tangible manner.

“If the Council manages to find a legal loophole by which they can “cut their losses and walk away” the Law of Unintended Consequences will come back to bite us all. Local taxpayers have paid for the city’s 10 percent share of this project, including the costs of land acquisition and right of way purchases.

“If the city withdraws from the project, it has to find a place in the budget to return all of the money that the Federal Government has invested so far.

“We will also be stuck with the land and easements already purchased (at a 90 percent discount courtesy of the FAA.)”

Marilyn Potter
Osage City

Editor’s note: www.osagecityairport.com is a blog developed by Osage City resident Rick Potter. Comments can also be posted on any subject of local interest at Osage County News’ County Comment.

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