Kadoka pulls back proposed airport projects

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The state Aeronautics Commission reaffirmed its policy Thursday capping aid at $75,000 per project for South Dakota airports that aren’t part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

That decision in turn scotched two projects that were proposed at the Kadoka airport for fencing and lighting.

Mayor Harry Weller and consultant Mike Schmidt from Helms & Associates agreed they would rework the fencing plan and submit a new proposal.

The original plan called for installing 800 feet of 10-foot chain-link fence to keep debris from the city’s neighboring landfill off the airport property, and 9,180 feet of four-strand barbed-wire fence to surround the rest of the airport, at an estimated $125,000 cost.

The mayor said in a letter that he wanted a grant of at least 50% but indicated Thursday there’s no desire to use city funds.

The mayor, in a second letter, also requested a grant of at least 50% for the $318,000 estimated cost to replace the airport’s lighting system, including the lighted wind cone and beacon.

Jon Becker from the state aeronautics office said South Dakota doesn’t require airports to be lit but they should be fenced.

Commission chairman Eric Odenbach of Eureka said the city of Kadoka would need a fence to keep material in the landfill regardless of whose property was next door.

“It doesn’t seem like the right place to put cost, to me,” Odenbach said. He called the proposal “way outside the parameters” of the commission’s policy.

Commissioner Bob Huggins of Sioux Falls said he’d like to see Kadoka help pay for the chain-link fence.

Odenbach suggested the fence project be revised. “Then it would be a lot easier for us to consider it.”

Becker said the state aeronautics office is willing to help work on revisions.

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