January 24, 2012 By Michael Peppers
Rochelle councilmen give the go ahead for the city to buy land to extend it’s airport runway.
City officials had been working on a deal for the nearly 61 acres of land needed for the extension since 2008.
The current runway at Rochelle Municipal Airport is a little more than 4,200 ft. The plan is to extend that to 5000 feet by 75 feet. It will cost roughly $650,000 to acquire the property. The land itself costs about $542,000 while the rest of the expenses cover legal, airport and engineering consulting fees. Federal and state dollars will cover 97.5% of the expenses. City officials say the longer runway will make it safer for planes to take off and draw companies with larger planes to do business at the airport.
“We have increased our business considerably more recently with some of corporations,” said Rochelle Councilman Bill Hayes. “Nippon Sharyo that’s moved to Rochelle, Rochelle Foods uses it for some jet traffic so there are some lear jets and some of the corporate jets that prefer to have the longer runway.”
The property the city purchased was mainly farmland. Provisions were made in the deal to protect the drainage system in the area so not to harm the agriculture businesses of nearby farm owners.
Rochelle City Manager David Plyman says the building process will start in 2013.
Source: NBC WREX 13