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City of Glencoe to develop plans, specs for parallel airport runway; vote is 4-1

On a 4-1 vote, the Glencoe City Council approved plans and specifications for the construction of an airport parallel taxiway at Vernon Perschau Memorial Airport. Council Member Allen Robeck voted no.
There is a hitch to the plans, however. The city needs to acquire four small parcels of property from four different landowners, including a key half-acre of land owned by Robert Boltmann. None of the landowners, however, have responded to the city’s requests.
Shawn McMahon, a consultant from Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) said the project at the municipal airport will cost about $1.4 million, with 95 percent of that coming from federal and state funds.
Council Member Dan Perschau said the city’s Airport Commission unanimously favored the project, especially for improved safety and better use of the airport.
“I’m glad to see this moving forward,” said Perschau, also a member of the Airport Commission.
The bid opening was set for April 23.
But Robeck questioned how the city plans to get the properties in question. “Do we condemn the land for this?”
City Administrator Mark Larson said the Boltmann property in question is .49 acres of land at the very south tip of the airport. An appraisal has been done on the land, but there has been no response from the landowner. The appraisal came in at $7,900.
McMahon said that parcel of property is needed in order for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to participate in the taxiway project. The FAA is supplying 90 percent of the funding.
Larson said the city is looking at a “quick take” condemnation option in which the city would pay the appraised price for the land.
“We need it in our control before we can break ground,” Larson said.
The federal-state cost sharing also applies to the land acquisition.
City Attorney Jody Winters said the quick take condemnation needs to determine “it is in the best interest of the city.” Essentially, the city takes the land, “and pays the landowner after the fact.”
Council Member Kevin Dietz strongly suggested the city make “an exhaustive attempt to contact and work with these folks.”

For more, see the March 25 print edition of The Chronicle.