Brainerd City Council: Hall presents airport plan to Brainerd council | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Brainerd City Council: Hall presents airport plan to Brainerd council

Posted: February 21, 2012 - 10:58pm

Ed Hall presented his proposal to manage the airport to the Brainerd City Council Tuesday.

“An alternative is what I’d like to offer everybody,” Hall said.

Hall previously approached the Crow Wing County with his presentation to manage the airport on a contract basis. Hall said he was uncomfortable with the seeming rush to hire a new manager. He offered to provide that service for $55,000 a year without benefits. The city and county jointly own the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. “I’m willing to give you a half price offer to operate the airport for a short length of time on a contract basis,” Hall said.

The short length of time could be three years to fives, Hall said.

Tuesday, Hall told the council he’d like to see radar added so air traffic control has the ability to see planes from the surface to 4,000 feet for greater safety. Hall said that addition would expedite traffic and provide the opportunity for North Memorial to have more flights here. It comes with a large cost, but Hall said the federal government would pay for it.

Hall also recommended making the airport commission an advisory board.

“I really think they have too much autonomy,” Hall said. “The decision making should be left up to a more knowledgeable body.”

Council member Kelly Bevans said he thought the proposal was very intriguing, but the way the charters are set up, the proposal should really go to the airport commission.

Council member Dale Parks questioned if the airport wouldn’t have to go out for a request for proposal if they wanted to go down the road for a contract employee.

City administrator Dan Vogt said he would recommend that path so everyone who is interested would be able to respond.

Council president Mary Koep said she was intrigued by the idea of contract employment.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.