City Council circling a name change for airport

3/2/2015  ­ The Hutchinson News: 

The Hutchinson Municipal Airport wants a name change. Airport manager Pieter Miller will ask the Hutchinson City Council on Tuesday to change the name to Hutchinson Regional Airport to reflect a recent change in designation. In a memo for the council, Miller explained the change in designation stems from a 2010 Federal Aviation Administration study of the roles general aviation airports play in the national airport system. The FAA released the results in a 2012 report that defined four new categories for nonprimary airports based on existing activity and role: national, regional, local and basic. According to the memo, this has been incorporated into the FAA’s planning process. Hutchinson’s airport has been designated a regional airport. “While we do not have the based aircraft numbers that airports similar to us enjoy, KHUT was the third busiest airport in the state behind Wichita and Salina with over 40,000 operations in 2014,” Miller wrote. 

Miller will present an annual update to the council on the status of the airport, including completed and future projects, and a business plan and strategic vision. Historic Preservation In other business, the council will be asked to overturn a decision by the Hutchinson Landmarks Commission. LaVerle Pounds’ request to install vinyl windows in a rental house he owns at 8 S. Cleveland, in the Houston Whiteside Historic District was denied by the commission earlier this month. The house’s historical significance is disputed by Pounds, the commission, and city officials. It is believed to have been built in the early 1930s. The historic district is an irregularly shaped area roughly bounded by the Santa Fe railroad tracks on the north, the south side of Avenue A on the south, Pershing and Cleveland streets on the east and Plum and Elm on the west. It was one of the city’s first neighborhoods, once home to Hutchinson’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens. 

It is named in honor Houston Whiteside, the first editor of The News. In all probability, the council will overturn the Landmarks Commission’s decision. According to a News story from Feb. 15, the council already has overturned four similar Landmarks Commission 

decisions in the Houston Whiteside district in the past 18 months. Also, the council will consider a bid from Ward Davis Builders for the construction of a new hiking/bike trail at the intersection of K­61 and 30th Avenue for an amount not to exceed $79,117.93. 
The council will also be asked to set a public hearing for Marsha Judd to obtain a certificate necessary to operate a taxi service. Judd is seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The hearing would be scheduled for 9 a.m. March 17 in the Hutchinson City Council Chambers, 125 East Ave. B. Public art The council is expected to approve purchase of the “Egghead” statue by Kimber Fiebiger for $15,000. The statue was the winner of the SculptureWalk’s 2014 People’s Choice Award. The council is also expected to accept donation of another SculptureWalk Statue, “Butterfly Girl,” by Gregory Johnson. The statue was part of the SculptureWalk in 2013 and is being donated by Bob, Ann, and Jack Bush. Citizens’ Collective for Creative Placemaking, a group dedicated to public art, will ask the council to prepare an ordinance that establishes a public art program operated by the city, a public art trust fund to be funded through a percent­for­public­art allocation from eligible capital improvements funds, and a Public Art Design Council appointed by the council to provide oversight and administration. “Hutchinson’s Public Art Program will reflect the diversity of our community, artistic styles, and points of view that will enhance the character and identity of the Salt City,” the group wrote in a proposal to the city.

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