Illinois Airport Hangar Plans Halted

Feb. 20--PONTIAC The City Council has grounded an idea to build a hangar at the Pontiac Municipal Airport.

The council set aside plans to get federal funding for the project, but a new proposal could surface in coming weeks.

The federal grant would have been used to construct a $379,000, 10-unit hangar. The funding is part of the government's airport improvement program through the Federal Aviation Administration.

The city would have had to come up with $79,000; the federal grant would have covered the rest.

Alderman Bob Russell was concerned about spending the city's money while several local projects also needed money. He also said clients will use other airports when he encourages them to fly in.

"We talked about not doing anything more out there," Russell said. "I can't talk people into flying in here -- it's a waste of money (do to improvements)."

The city used the same program last year to expand the runway about 1,000 feet. The longer runway allowed for larger planes to land.

Russell doubted people would rent space at the hangar. He wants at least six people to sign letters saying they would rent hangar space at the airport.

"It would be no problem filling the spaces," said City Administrator Bob Karls. "There is a waiting list for potential users."

Mayor Scott McCoy announced the plans to go after the federal funding for a hangar in September.

The council also has postponed three other projects: an expanded apron, improving the taxiway and apron and acquiring land for a cross-wind runway. The projects would have been paid for with federal, state and local money.

Airport use varies from day to day; some days traffic is constant, others days have nothing.

The airport is used by local people who fly, businesses and pilots logging fight hours.

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