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Morris City Council explores additional additional airport hangar

On Tuesday, the Morris City Council voted to enter into an engineering services agreement with TKDA Engineering of St. Paul, Minn. for the design and construction engineering of a new hangar at the Morris Municipal Airport.

The 95’ by 110’ foot hangar is estimated at about $700,000. The federal share of the project is $609,000, the state share is $14,000 and the local share is $77,000.

“One of the things that we’re seeing at our airport is a tremendous increase in the amount of traffic and activity,” said Hill.

Superior Industries, for example, has purchased three new planes that are taking up “quite a bit of hangar space,” said Hill.

Hill said the city will lease the space in the hangar back to the individuals and businesses who want to store planes there to help pay for the city’s share. Hill estimated it would take from 10 to 15 years to recoup the city’s investment.

The Airport Advisory Board originally hoped to add a second, parallel taxiway at the airport that would have created a space for planes to get off the runway and increase airport safety.

However, changes to the formula for how federal and local funds are used to pay for projects made the parallel taxiway too expensive for the city to pursue, Hill said.

Instead, the board recommending working on the new hangar, a project that is on the Morris Municipal Airport’s Capital Improvement Plan and has been approved by both the state and federal government.