[Monett Times] Fair ~ 66°F  
High: 73°F ~ Low: 47°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Monett City Council plans major push for airport

Friday, July 31, 2009

Aerial view of the Monett Municipal Airport
The Monett City Council announced plans for developing the Monett airport and pursuing the vision of downtown promoted by the Drury University students. At the council's advisory board meeting last week, Mayor Jim Orr said the city planned to combine these future-looking processes under the Vision 2030 label as a road map for Monett's future.

"Vision 2030 has given us a solid start. We need changes," said Orr.

Commissioner Jerry Dierker said the multi-pronged strategy offered "the right direction" for Monett's future.

Moving the ideas for Monett's downtown forward using the Drury students' suggestion, the mayor reported city representatives have talked to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) officials. Orr said MoDOT's leaders reacted positively to the idea of a roundabout at the junction of Broadway and Central/Highway 37.

MoDOT's District Seven leaders agreed to explore plans for changing the present street arrangement and talked about scheduling the alteration in the next five-year plan revision.

Four committees are now meeting actively on different phases of the Vision 2030 plan, said City Administrator Dennis Pyle. Persons interested in participating in discussions about flood abatement, streetscape and facades, gateways and the city center park are welcome to contact Pyle. The committees will work with the Chamber of Commerce in developing plans for the city council to consider.

The master plan for the airport, under development for a year, has been combined into a book, available for purusal at Monett City Hall or on the internet at www.cityofmonett.com.

According to the mayor, the plan calls for building a second substantial runway that will extend 6,500 feet, 1,100 feet more than the current runway. Acquisition of land to the south will be needed.

The mayor confirmed part of the plan calls for gaining control of air space within a 10-mile radius of the airport. This process would ban the construction of any future cell phone towers extending over 200 feet in height, which are the primary concern. Pyle said most cell phone towers extend to around 195 feet in height and would not pose a problem.

A moratorium on height construction would, however, dash any plans for developing a wind farm near Monett. Wind turbines usually run around 300 feet in height.

The airport plan includes putting the airport inside the city's water system, requiring construction of a water main from the city to the airport, located four miles to the west of the city limits. Council members are proposing annexation of Highway 60 and its right-of-way from the city limits to the west side of the airport property. A public hearing on the annexation has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 20 at City Hall.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the airport already has a well on it capable of producing up to 700 gallons a minute. At the present time the well has a pump producing only 85 gallons a minute. There is no place to store the water at the airport, Rauch said, beyond "a glorified farm system," containing eight bladder tanks kept under pressure. Consequently the airport presently lacks serious fire protection without a greater water supply.

A 12-inch water main between the city and the airport would allow the airport well to be hooked onto to the city's system. Adding another well on the adjacent property purchased by the Monett Industrial Development Corporation would not work, Rauch said, because the land is too close to the airport. The two wells would interfere with each other. With a water main in place, industries could draw on city water with ease.

Extending a water main would also open new places where the city could drill more wells for the system. Rauch said wells could be located a mile apart, leaving room for two more between the city and the airport.

Property owners along the water main would also have the option of getting city water, if they agreed to annex into the city, it was noted.

The city would have to secure easements beyond the highway right-of-way for construction of its water main. Dierker said the city could put its main on the state easement. However, if MoDOT decided to widen the roadway on its right-of-way, the city would have to move its main, making it better to place the main elsewhere in the first place.

Both sides of the road offered issues over installing a water main. Rauch said the final location will depend on negotiations with property owners.

The airport master plan called for upgrading the weather observatory and installation of more T-hangars. The mayor said T-hangars could be added south of the terminal and city hangar, where dirt was excavated for the Highway 60 and Eisenhower bridges.

Airport Commissioner Mike Brownsberger said the city could not finance T-hangar construction simply on rent, but over the long term, more storage at the airport contributed to more traffic and is thus good for the airport.

Brownsberger said there are presently eight to 10 names on a waiting list for T-hangar space at the airport. Comments were exchanged over the value of having a waiting list as opposed to building enough hangars to fill demand, or raising rent to get a better feel for demand at a cost that would pay for more hangars.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration:

© 2016 Monett Times, a division of Rust Publishing MOARCASS, L.L.C. All rights reserved.