Senate Budget Plan Includes $4 Million Dollar Airport Investment
Photo by Tom Loucks/WRCM – The State Senate budget transportation plan includes an investment of four million dollars for infrastructure enhancement and expansion at Alexander Field-South Wood County Airport.
Recently I had the privilege of joining State Senator Patrick Testin to announce a proposal that could very well usher in an era of renewed prosperity in our local community: The State Senate budget plan includes an investment of four million dollars for infrastructure enhancement and expansion at Alexander Field-South Wood County Airport.
Airport expansion would establish Alexander Field as a reliable transportation hub with convenient access to anywhere!. The accompanying increased traffic offers more opportunities for:
- Potential investors to view our assets of natural beauty, affordable living and highly skilled labor force as solid reasons to build in the area;
- Existing businesses to expand their operations;
- Event planners to value our area as a prime venue for meetings and special activities; and
- Stay-over tourists to visit for special events – such as the State Water Ski Show Championships, among many other opportunities.
Making a positive and lasting first impression on these visitors will help to ensure they want to continue to visit the area and patronize regional businesses, resulting in a considerable contribution to the regional economy.
Indeed, Sand Valley Golf Resort General Manager Glen Murray noted, “This is great news that our state officials see the significant value in continued infrastructure investment in Central Wisconsin and the airport. We are grateful for the partnership with Alexander Field and all those that are involved in this community asset.”
As chairman of the South Wood County Airport Commission, I have worked with fellow Commission members Arne Nystrom (Grand Rapids), Katie Martinson (Port Edwards) and Brad Hamilton (Nekoosa) for some time to seek funding for the airport. In the funding request submitted to the State in December of 2016, we emphasized the increased volume and size of aircraft we could expect in the near future and for some time to come from Sand Valley clients choosing private air travel as their means of access to central Wisconsin.
We also pointed out that, through thick and through thin, our community has made substantial investment over the years to support operation, maintenance and development of Alexander Field, viewing the airport as an essential feature for regional tourism, industry, public relations and economic development. The inclusion in the Senate’s budget plan of four million dollars for infrastructure improvements and expansion is a most positive step.
As Senator Testin observed, “This funding will help improve our infrastructure here in Wisconsin Rapids, and will be helpful for businesses and individuals in the region.”
I have enjoyed working with Senator Testin and Representative Scott Krug on this proposal. This project holds a lot of potential for central Wisconsin, and I am confident that the State Legislature and Governor Walker understand the importance of Alexander Field to our region and to the State’s economy as a whole.
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Thanks for reading,
Mayor Zach Vruwink