Backus: Council takes steps in airport hangar expansion

Council makes annual appointments.

Backus City Hall / Echo Journal file photo
PineandLakes Echo Journal file photo

BACKUS — The Backus City Council has been receiving requests for airport hangar space from several pilots in recent years. In past meetings, council members have said there is a shortage of hangar space in the area. The council has received letters from at least one pilot interested in constructing a new hangar at the Backus Municipal Airport.

According to correspondence with Clerk Ann Swanson after the council's Monday, Jan. 3, regular meeting, the council asked engineers with Short Elliott Hendrickson to create a proposal to start the planning process to install taxi lanes and hangars at the airport.

Swanson said if planning goes well, taxi lanes could be finished in the fall and those who wish to build hangars could begin at that time.

The city also submitted a proposal for construction of a T-hangar in its capital improvement plan. This would be a hangar with space for multiple aircraft. Construction could proceed in 2023.

The council also held its reorganizational meeting, announcing the following appointments:


  • Official newspaper: PineandLakes Echo Journal.
  • Primary depository: First National Bank North (Backus).
  • Engineering firm: Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.
  • Auditing firm: Clasen & Schiessl CPAs, Ltd.
  • Acting mayor: Karl Flier.
  • Mileage rate: 56 cents per mile.
  • Authorized signatories: Kurt Sawyer, Karl Flier and Ann Swanson.

Board members were appointed to committees. Sawyer, council member John Wieber and airport manager JB Johnson were appointed to the airport committee. Flier, Wieber and Andy Schwartz with Pine River Area Sanitary District are on the building and equipment committee. Council members Anne Birge and Rae Borst are on the finance and budget committee with Swanson. Flier and Sawyer are on the fire and police committee. Borst and Birge are on the personnel, health and safety committee. Sawyer, Flier and Schwartz are in the streets, parks and weeds committee and the water and sewer committee. Denton Newman Jr. and Sourcewell will handle zoning.
Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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