For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mike Davis, City Administrator
City of Middleton, WI
Airport Master Plan Project Update: Final Survey Report Released; Middleton Common Council to Consider Next Steps at Their February 1 Meeting
Polco has released its final report (open survey results can be found in Appendix D) presenting the results of the multi-community survey they conducted on behalf of the city last fall to gather input related to the Middleton Airport Master Plan.
Staff from Polco’s Research wing (National Research Center, NRC) led the creation, implementation, and analysis of the survey. Households invited to participate in the survey were selected randomly from a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) list of households in the City of Middleton, Town of Middleton, and Town of Springfield to respond to the survey.
According to Polco, “A total of 1,179 residents completed the address-based sample survey for a response rate of 33% (City of Middleton 546, 27%; Town of Middleton 349, 44%; and Town of Springfield 284, 36%). This is a high response rate, above the 18-24% average for local government survey efforts.”
Polco’s final report addressed a few issues that they and City staff identified with the draft report that was released earlier in January; however, the conclusions presented previously remain essentially unchanged.
On Tuesday, February 1, the Middleton Common Council will consider a resolution intended to articulate the City’s position with respect to completing the remaining tasks of the airport master planning process. Resolution 2022-08, “Direction for Completing a Master Plan for Middleton Municipal Airport—Morey Field,” is being sponsored by Council Member Robert Burck, former chair of the Airport Master Plan Advisory Committee and member of the Airport Commission.
The resolution states that the following development alternatives should be incorporated into a new Airport Layout Plan so that they may become eligible for federal funding assistance:
• East-West Runway: Adding 200 to 440 feet of pavement to Runway 10/28 to improve the safety of current takeoffs and landings, which can be accomplished without expanding the airport footprint.
• North-South Runway: Developing a 3,280 ft. paved runway with an east side parallel taxiway, with the runway protection zones fully located on airport property. The city would also be amenable to the alternative of placing the parallel taxiway on the west side of the runway. This option would entail purchasing farmland at fair market value.
• Hangar Development: Planning for a new hangar complex on the northeast side of the airport. This option would entail purchasing farmland at fair market value.
• Turf Runway: Planning for turf operations either in an east-west configuration north of the solar array or parallel to a paved runway, subject to the consent of the FAA. This could entail purchasing farmland at fair market value.
The resolution concludes that these potential future projects will improve safety of aircraft operations, redirect some aircraft away from residential areas, and meet most general aviation needs of the city and nearby communities for the next 20 years without significantly changing the mix of small aircraft currently using the airport.
It furthermore emphasizes that the Common Council will hold public hearings before deciding to proceed with any potential airport expansion project, and it recognizes that any decision to proceed with a federally- or state-funded project requires adoption of a formal petition to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for airport improvement aid along with a detailed study and environmental analysis.
The Common Council welcomes public comment at the beginning of each regularly scheduled meeting, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Extensive information about this project is available on the airport master plan project website.
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