As chairman of the Osage City Industrial Committee, I am writing in support of expansion of the local airport with the assistance of a Federal Aviation Administration grant. The grant will pay for 90 percent of the cost of the airport improvements and secure the future of our airport as one of the best airports for cities under 10,000 population, which enables our committee to retain and attract industry and the jobs they create.
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. This would force a decision of taking over all the maintenance costs or closing our airport and forcing the two businesses to move that rely on it. Those businesses provide local jobs and bring in many visitors who spend money in our city, which helps our economy.
Throughout the history of our city, we have used the tools provided by state and federal governments to assist our community in providing jobs, safe and plentiful drinking water, adequate sewer capacity, dependable electric generation and distribution, and ample gas supplies to allow for and encourage economic growth as well as a good place to live. This is the main reason we have more industrial jobs, more businesses, better parks, a first-class aquatics center, and a really good library, just to name a few of the reasons Osage City stands out among most communities our size. Yet our city property taxes are at or slightly below average for cities of our size in Kansas. Our city leadership of the past looked to the future and planned well to get there. You don’t have to look very far or hard to see communities that have not. Those communities have taken the approach that if you don’t need it today and can do without it, don’t worry about it.
Chairman, Osage City Industrial Committee