New Richmond Regional (Municipal) Airport


The following articles are reprinted exactly as they appeared in The News


January 11, 1962


At a special meeting of the common council held last week Thursday, Jan. 4, Harry nelson of the New Richmond Airport Committee presented an airport proposal drawn up by the committee.

After some discussion Alderman Wayne Cole moved that the project be put into the works with a petition to the state aeronautical commission at Madison for further action pointing toward an airport for this city.

The airport committee turned in an exhaustive survey of the needs for an airport here. First of all, folds will probably be interested in the cost of the project: Estimated cost is set at $125,000 of which the federal gov’t would contribute one-half, or $62,500; the state, $10,000 and the city of New Richmond $52,500 – if we can get a usable airport for $52,500, let’s grab it quick!

The committee’s survey turned up a lot of interesting and vital information. Locally it might be surprising to learn that there are seven planes in the area: the New Richmond Flyers club; Fred Andrea of this city; Wm. Clapp, Roberts; Hawks flying club, New Richmond; Raymond Moe (2), Star Prairie; and Curtis Vick, Deer Park. These planes would all be quartered at the proposed airport with new ones being added faster than you think.

New Richmond has three large industries doing business in many states – these firms need air service, on or two would buy their own planes, and all have customers and suppliers that already use private air service. Until New Richmond can list an airport among its civic assets, we are behind the times and can be overlooked by companies looking for expansion or new sites but demand a suitable airport as a reason for locating in any town.

Let’s get on with the project. Build an airport – yuh can’t hardly lose especially when an airport would cost us only $52,500 for a $125,000 layout.

January 18, 1962


The regular January session of the common council was held last week Tuesday, Jan 9, with all hands present: Mayor Paul O. Swenby, and Alderman Ernie Amundson, Curtis Anderson, Donald Proble, Wayne Cole Leonard Peterson and Donald Reppe.

The finance committee presented bills in the amount of $21,231.80 which were ordered paid as read.
An initial resolution was adopted on the issuing of general obligation bonds not to exceed $50,000 to help construct a municipal airport. The state and federal gov’ts would contribute $72,500 toward the cost of the project, estimated at $125,000.

February 22, 1962


At the regular monthly meeting of the common council held last week Tuesday evening the city fathers voted to issue $50,000 in general obligation bonds toward the cost of a municipal airport for this city. State and federal funds would make up the rest of the cost of the project, estimated at $125,000.
Just where and how large the airport will be is up to the state aeronautics commission to decide.

March 29, 1962


The Wisconsin state aeronautics commission has called for a public hearing on the proposed airport for New Richmond. The hearing will be held in the city hall, Friday.
The following official notice for the meeting was published in The News two weeks ago on March 15.
A petition for a hearing in the matter of state and federal aid for the acquisition and construction of the proposed New Richmond Municipal Airport, New Richmond, Wisconsin, having been filed with the Wisconsin State Aeronautics Commission as provided by law; a hearing in the matter will be held on Friday, March 30, 1962 at 10:30 a.m. in the New Richmond City Hall, New Richmond, Wisconsin.
All persons interested are invited to appear and present their views, such presentation preferably to be accompanied by a summary statement in writing.

April 5, 1962


The Wisconsin State Aeronautics Commission, F.E. Wolf, operations consultant, accompanied by a secretary who transcribed the proceedings, held a public meeting in the council chambers last week Friday morning. City Atty. Wm. W. Ward questioned each of the few persons who testified, largely in favor of the project.
Purpose of the hearing was to get sentiment for a federal-state municipal airport for New Richmond.
The hearing probably engendered a large demand for an airport within close range of New Richmond.
On the other hand, it seems that public opinion is against the action of the common council when it voted to issue $50,000 in general obligation bonds to pay the city’s share of the cost which is estimated to be around $125,000. But the public opinion did not show in the testimony received at the hearing. Though there is quite some sentiment that taxpayers should have been given the privilege of voting on the proposed bond issue by referendum. Referendums have been held on proposals of less importance, if the airport is an important project at this time to begin with.

August 2, 1962


According to word (by telephone) Tuesday from Congressman Lester Johnson (Dem. 9th district) New Richmond has been granted $57,000 in federal funds from the federal aviation agency for municipal airports.
The money is to be used for the acquisition of land and construction of a runway area 2600 feet long 75 feet wide including an apron connecting a taxiway, fencing, wind cone, tie-downs and a paved road into the airport. Hurrah, we’re on the march!
In January 1962, certain citizens turned in an airport building project which was approved by the common council at a meting held on Feb. 13.
At that time it was presumed the federal gov’t would contribute $62,500, the state $10,000 and the city would issue $50,000 in bonds to pay for the project.
Apparently the federal agency has pared its share a couple of thousands of dollars – as much as $5500. Total cost of the airport project was estimated at $125,000 in January of this year.
The report approved by the council in February says it "shows a definite need" for an airport. Now New Richmond is faced with the reality of issuing airport bonds for maybe as much as $60,000 plus the maintenance for the airport. Are you ready to do this?

September 20, 1962


The federal aviation agency, from its St. Paul office, has notified the Wisconsin state aeronautical commission, that is has approved a site for the proposed New Richmond airport. The site is a mile north of New Richmond. The exact location is given in latitude and longitude measurements and the mayor nor The News wouldn’t understand ‘em – we’ll settle for a mile north of the city, east or west of hwy 65 we presume.
The FAA furthermore has no objection to a 2600-ft NW-SE runway.
Gosh, would the voters of the city support a referendum to issue upwards of $70,000 in general obligation bonds to pay its share of the cost, plus the annual maintenance? Revenue bonds are out of the questions – the airport will be an expense, not a profit, to the city.

September 27, 1962


MADISON – Gov. Gaylord Nelson Wednesday signed contracts for construction of a $125,000 airport at New Richmond, along with airport improvement projects at Sturgeon Bay, Park Falls and Three Lakes.
In the New Richmond project, a paved and lighted runway 3,000 feet long will be constructed on land to be bought north of the city. An access road and aircraft parking area also will be built.

New Richmond has no airport at present. Leading businessmen of the city support the project on grounds it will provide needed service for business and make the New Richmond area more attractive to new industry. The city has approved a bond issue to meet its $53,500 share of the cost.
Nelson’s approval made $10,000 in state funds and $61,500 in federal funds available for the project.

October 18, 1962


At the behest of "powerful and/or influential" pressure upon the office of the mayor, John A. Van Meter has appointed an airport committee to explore the drastic need for an airport, and what it will cost in the way of construction and maintenance. Against the necessary costs of the airport the committee will also make a detailed report of what an airport for New Richmond will accomplish, to sort of offset the costs of the proposal.
To the committee the mayor has named Joe Ferris, vice president in charge of public relations, Doughboy Industries; Paul Benscoter of Northwest Orient Airlines, a resident of Star Prairie and member of the New Richmond Kiwanis club, and Robert M. Harding, treasurer of Doughboy Industries.
Ferris and Bencoster are old hands in the airlines business and should be able to make quite an impressive case for an airport for New Richmond despite the fact it will cost local taxpayers upwards of $75,000 plus the annual maintenance with little or no revenue coming in.
If anyone else is anxious to sit in on the committee’s deliberations, with leanings for or against the proposition, the mayor might be happy to name them to the committee. The committee is already at work and probably has an initial press release ready for publication in The News next week.
The proposed airport is slated to be constructed about a mile north of the city and west of hwy. 65, east of the Wall St. road. To acquire the farm land needed for the layout will cost around $44,000 (more or less). The city will participate in the construction cost of some $125,000 by about 50%. From here on in The News will let the airport committee carry the ball.

December 13, 1962


The regular December meeting of the common council was held Tuesday evening without the benefit of one interested spectator . . . the city fathers never had it so good – no pressure groups demanding this or that. Present were: Mayor John A. Van Meter, Alderman Ray Brinkman, Leonard Peterson, Donald Preble, Ernie (Tennessee) Amundson started the meeting; Curtis Anderson arrived a bit late and Alderman Wayne (Hoss) Cole was absent.
The city fathers were unanimous in all business to come before it except on one item. The state aeronautics commission had a request before the council for a partial payment of $10,000 toward the proposed airport for the city, to be located in the town of Star Prairie and about a mile or more due north of the north city limits.
What with the council’s general fund overflowing with funds, it wasn’t much of an effort for someone to make a motion to pay the $10,000 forthwith and it came to a vote: Anderson, Brinkman, Preble and Peterson, aye; Amundson, no. Motion carried and the $10,000 is presumably on its way though The News learned early Wednesday morning that there may be some delay in releasing the funds. The mayor may veto the motion to spend the money and council will have to declare itself all over again, and in case just one alderman changes his mind, the airport could be postponed indefinitely while a further study of the project is made.

  New Richmond Regional Airport, New Richmond, Wisconsin ~ Airports Mean Business!