Crow Wing County Board members voiced no concerns with the Brainerd City Council's request to change the agreement between the city and the county relating to funding of the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport.
The board members did not set a public hearing or take any action to change the agreement.
The county board discussed the city's request Tuesday. The city council is asking the county to exclude city taxpayers from the county share of the airport general operational costs.
Currently, the city and the county split the operating costs of the airport. As a result, Brainerd residents fund 100 percent of the city share and pay about 10 percent of the county's share. The county share in 2002 is $123,600, of which Brainerd residents pay about $12,800.
"We're 50-50 partners," said Commissioner Dewey Tautges. "I have no problem with the $12,800."
Commissioner Terry Sluss agreed and said he supports the city's request. He also said he would like to see Cass County contribute to the operating costs of the airport.
Sluss said when the county and the city entered into the most recent agreement in 1991, Brainerd saw the most benefits. He said he feels that is no longer true.
Sluss said Cass County residents, businesses and resorts are the main users of the airport. He said Cass County officials have said they would be interested in contributing to the airport under some circumstances.
Tautges said in response, "What is their benefit if they come on? Right now they got all the benefits and none of the burdens."
Cass County officials have said the airport name would need to be changed before Cass County would contribute to the airport.
"If they want to rename it, we are willing to bend some," said Commissioner Gil Dewes.
County board members were concerned with another request from the city. The city is asking the county for conceptual support of Brainerd annexing the airport property and extending utilities and infrastructure to the airport.
"I have concerns with that," said Sluss. "I would not be in favor (of this) until I see the impact on the airport and the businesses that would come in there."
Sluss said the city is already having difficulty paying for the costs associated with annexation.
"We need to take a closer look," he said.
County Administrator Peter Herlofsky Jr. told the commissioners before their discussion that they should hold off on the city's requests until the new runway is in operation. He said then the county and the city can review the agreement and the new operational costs.
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