City seeks airport base operator

Members of the Maple Lake City Council, at their most recent meeting, Tuesday, February 21, were apprised by Mayor Lynn Kissock on recent developments at the Maple Lake Airport.
With the departure of Jason Erickson and Ascend Aviation, Kissock said, maintenance director Jerry Sawatzke is serving as an interim fixed base operator (FBO) until that vacancy can be filled. Dan Northenscold has expressed interest in the position, and the airport commission will also cast a wider net in search of other interested candidates.
City officials have been for some time considering the purchase of the operational hangar from Bob Shadduck, and Kissock said airport commissioners agree that the option should be pursued and that going forward, for purposes of obtaining greater funding and presenting a better package to the next FBO, the building should be owned and managed by the city. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is on board with that idea, but requires two commercial appraisals, each of which is expected to cost around $5,000.
As previous conversations around a possible sale have revealed a discrepancy between seller and buyer’s perception of value, City Attorney Rhonda Pagel advised that the entire council be brought into a process of evaluation to determine the merits of purchase versus rental, and that steps toward purchase should be outlined before the process begins. The council directed staff to gather the necessary information before its next workshop.

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