Watertown cashes out aircraft fuel accountAeronautics panel OKs SD city’s request to take more than $81,000 from taxes on past sales
By: Bob Mercer, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — After spending $532,604.53 of local funds on a new fuel-farm and hangar drainage improvements for its regional airport since 2009, Watertown officials decided the time had come to tap an additional source.
They received approval Tuesday to withdraw the city’s share of money that had accumulated in a state aircraft-tax fund. Under a 1989 state law, a portion of the money is distributed to communities on a proportionate basis according to each airport’s fuel sales
The state Aeronautics Commission gave its go-ahead for Watertown to take the entire $81,378.97 that was due to the city from taxes on past sales of aircraft fuel at the airport.
“It’s their money,” commission member Larry Nelson of Rapid City said.
Watertown Regional Airport manager Erick Dahl submitted the request in mid-November.
In other action during the conference-call meeting:
• The commission approved relicensing of all current public airports in South Dakota with the exceptions of McIntosh, which has closed, and North Sioux City, where renewal wasn’t sought;
• The commission welcomed new member Chad Hatch, a Sioux Falls investment businessman. He succeeds Larry Vetterman, of Hot Springs, who had served 13 years; and
• Commission aide Kevin Tveidt said he’s seeking a publication-quality photo of an airplane at a South Dakota airport with pheasants and pheasant hunters, for use on the cover of the new state airport directory.