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Osage City still in contention for airport renovation money

City Council members in Osage City have approved a longstanding capital improvement plan for the town's airport. However, the source of local matching funds hasn't been listed.

Tuesday night's vote follows a vote two weeks ago to approve state funds for improvements, including repaving the current runway and replacing a hangar. The vote Tuesday night keeps Osage City in contention for a larger, $4.1 million renovation plan which includes lengthening the current runway about 1,500 feet. Town resident Mike Handley says the repairs are needed.

The City Council has been hesitant to move forward, even though voters approved the overall package 25 years ago. City Council member LeRoy Stromgren says the time lapse involved should mean a re-vote.

Audio is from KVOE's TV partner, WIBW in Topeka.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said it would fund 90 percent, or $4.1 million, with the city's share at around $200,000.

Lengthening the runway would lead to a wider array of business jets coming to Osage City including Lear jets. Failure to move forward would mean Osage City would have to repay some $90,000 in pre-project costs to the FAA. It would also forfeit $150,000 set aside for annual maintenance and upkeep.

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