City council approves land purchase for aviation industrial park

The Oshkosh Common Council approved at its Tuesday meeting a resolution to purchase land for the creation of an aviation industrial park at the southeast corner of Wittman Regional Airport.

The city will pay $608,460 for about 35 acres of land — part of a two-part plan in cooperation with Winnebago County to purchase a total of 80 acres of land. The county’s share of the purchase will be $1,000,000 for 47 acres of property. The land purchase is part of a $10 million plan to develop the aviation-focused industrial park and a business accelerator to help early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.

The city’s segment of land will be on the east side of a road that would be created, and it will contain an industrial park that favors aviation and aviation support industries. The city’s land will be sold to its tenants.

The county’s segment of property would be adjacent to the airport and leased to tenants, enabling them to have access to the airport and its runways. Because the tenants would be on land adjacent to the airport, it would not be a “through the fence” arrangement, so the county could guarantee them runway access without prior approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The council unanimously approved the purchase and a resolution to borrow the money from the State Trust Funds. The loan will be paid over a period of 10 years.

“An airport is just not a place to go and get on an airplane and fly someplace; it is also an economic driver of a community,” said council member Tom Pech, Jr. “We are tremendously blessed to have this particular asset in Oshkosh.”

Both City Manager Mark Rohloff and Mayor Burk Tower said the aviation industrial park would be important to the city’s future economic development.

About Jessie Opoien

Jessie Opoien joined the Oshkosh Northwestern as a reporter in December 2011. Politics and education issues are her specialties, but she loves to tell a good story regardless of the topic. You can find her on Twitter as @jessieopie.
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