Winsted council votes to pave airport runway

WINSTED, MN – With three people in favor, one opposed, and one abstaining, Winsted City Council members decided to pave the airport runway at a special meeting June 8.

The vote was the culmination of years of discussion, planning, and deliberation, and one the council did not take lightly.

“This has been a very, very difficult struggle for me,” said Council Member George Schulenberg, who voted “yes” to paving.

The other council members who voted in favor were Patty Fitzgerald and Mike Henrich.

Council Member Tom Ollig voted “no,” stating that the city has other projects that will increase taxes already, and both the turf and tar options would meet the objective of a safe airport runway with improved drainage.

Mayor Steve Stotko abstained.

“My biggest concern is that we’re landlocked,” he said.

Look for the full story in the Friday, June 16 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.





  1. The Big Easy says:

    This will come back to become a big mistake, If they really think that 30 more hangers will be built to cover the cost they are dreaming.

  2. City Taxpayer says:

    So in an earlier blog when tienter stated that city taxpayers would not be spending any tax dollars on the airport then why do taxes need to be raised to pay for this!!!!! Once again he knowingly lied to the public! And to you “AIRPORT TAXPAYER” you lied to us also!!!!We have to subsidize your little hobby for the people from the cities who want to come to our small town airport. If Winsted thinks they have to act like a BIG TIME CITY then I think it is time for Winsted to raise the rates to match those paid in the small airports in the twin cities! I am sick and tired of tienter trying to make our little town into part of the metro area. We have to buy 50 plus acres of property, move a state trail that meant so much inside the city, move part of a well established business etc. etc. etc. THE MANY HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS FOLLY FOR THE BENEFIT OF A FEW! As taxpayers, we need to start speaking up and stop letting the city cram this stuff down our throats just so they can pat themselves on the back and say “OOH, LOOK WHAT WE DID. AREN’T YOU PROUD OF US AGAIN”?

  3. kingfisher says:

    According to this person, airport will not affect City Tax Payers.

    Airport Tax Payer May 17, 2017 – “… In fact, the airport does not cost you as a city taxpayer.”

    I wish I knew the truth, not just what some people think they know!!!

  4. Starrla Cray says:

    Hi everyone! Below is a response from City Administrator Dan Tienter that addresses some of the comments. More information is also in the full story, which is in the Friday, June 16 edition of the Herald Journal.

    “As mentioned during the May 18, 2017 Public Hearing and June 8, 2017 Special City Council Meeting, the financing plan for any Runway Improvement Project (Project) calls for the current and future hangar owners to support any anticipated local cost share. As such, the City would support the cost contribution of any future hangar owners with the proceeds from the sale of a General Obligation bond, which would require an increase in the Debt Service Property Tax Levy. Upon construction of a new hangar, the owner would be required to pay their portion of the local cost share, which would be returned to the City’s General Fund to offset any property taxes used to support the Project.”

    “Annually, the City Council reviews all of the charges for services and other fees as part of the budget development process. During the development of the Adopted 2017 Budget, the Council discussed possible changes to rents and other fees required to operate at the Winsted Municipal Airport. City staff also examined the fees and other charges by other airports, which includes those in larger communities, to determine appropriate fees.”

  5. City Taxpayer says:

    So tienter spews more political gibberish but still fails to answer
    1. Who pays for the 60 acres of land for this project?
    2. Why are the city taxpayers on the hook for the hangers that may or
    may not ever be built?
    3. Why are we saddled with ever more debt obligation to subsidize a few
    rich people from the cities?
    4. Is the tax increase just for one year or is it a permanent tax
    5. And why are all of the taxpayers in the city of Winsted required to
    pay for the benefit of just a few local taxpayers.
    6. Why doesn’t tienter publish the rates and fees for our airport
    versus other airports that the “city staff” thoroughly examined?
    What exactly is he trying to hide? Isn’t the airport supposed to be
    publicly owned? And if it isn’t, why is the public paying for it?

    Come on people, start asking questions of our city council people and our “city staff” and tell them that enough is enough! Tell them we are tired of all the fees and extra spending being done by the city!

  6. kingfisher says:

    I do believe that this project will cost taxpayers money regardless of the future hanger building. But my main question is “how does the presence of an airport benefit the city of winsted, regardless of paved or turf”? Sure it is nice to have as long as it does not cost me money. And don’t give me the BS again about all the business it brings into the community.

  7. Starrla Cray says:

    Below is a response from City Administrator Dan Tienter:

    Thank you for the questions and concerns about the proposed Runway Improvement Project. As always, City staff would be happy to provide and/or discuss any information about the Winsted Municipal Airport. However, given the number of questions and the amount of material requested, it would likely be more productive to review it in another forum, such as an in–person meeting or phone call, rather than attempting to distill it through a blog post. As such, please feel free to contact me at (320) 485–2366.

  8. City Taxpayer says:

    So once again tienter refuses to answer any questions in a public forum where he would be held accountable. It sure proves the fact that the city has something to hide and doesn’t want the public to form their own opinion. Why can’t tienter answer the questions I asked-there were only six questions-maybe he needs more staff to help him do his job. Most people can’t make it to the city council work sessions at 5 p.m. because they are still at work trying to pay his salary and pay for PRIVATE deals for his friends. And why can’t he answer the questions asked by someone paying his salary? What would your boss do if you refused to do your job? What are you trying to cover up here?????
    All I asked were some simple questions with the answers to be put before the public and all tienter wants to do is keep it hush-hush!
    Gee. it sure makes you trust the city staff of Winsted!

  9. The Big Easy says:

    On another City subject. Has anyone drove into town on the new Kingsley ave while a little league baseball game is being played. Because it had to be narrowed to accommodate the few bicycles that arrive in town, with cars parked on both sides of the road for the baseball game there is only room for one car down the middle. I met an oncoming car and I had to back up my vehicle to Baker Ave and wait for them to pass. Maybe someone on the council should have anticipated this being a problem and they could have kept Kingsley wider and painted bike path pictures on the existing road (like to do in bigger towns) We are getting more out of town people spending money here watching little league baseball then we will ever get from the water drinking/bathroom user bike crowd.

  10. City Taxpayer says:

    So let me get this straight…the city improves a park-the park fund and the people who use these parks has to pay the bill. The city now is starting to talk about lift station improvements and wants the user-the taxpayer-to pay for this to the tune of $372 dollars per year for five years. But the AIRPORT needs to be paid for by the city taxpayers-many who have never used and/or will never use the airport!!! WHY AREN’T THE AIRPORT USERS PAYING FOR THIS!!!!!!!! This city is taxing us right out of town with this folly of tienters and the council and we need to start telling them that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We were told by one of tienters lies that the city would not have to pay for any airport costs-now we find out that there is $8,000 for this and $33,000 for that? What gives? Come on people-it is time to speak up and start holding their feet to the fire and tell them it is time to STOP!