Aviation Appreciation Month proclaimed in Wahpeton

In Wahpeton, March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb and on the wings of a steel bird.

March is a little different than usual in Wahpeton. 

For most communities, the month comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. In Wahpeton, March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb and on the wings of a steel bird.

Mayor Steve Dale proclaimed “General Aviation Appreciation Month” during a Monday, March 4 meeting of the Wahpeton City Council. The city has a significant interest in the continued vitality of aviation, a proclamation stated.

“(This includes) general aviation, aircraft manufacturing, aviation educational institutions, aviation organizations and community airports,” said 4th Ward Councilman Don Bajumpaa, who read the proclamation.

General aviation, as well as the Harry Stern Airport, were singled out in the proclamation as having an immense economic impact on the city of Wahpeton. Aviation’s contributions to North Dakota’s economy were also singled out.

“North Dakota is home to 89 public-use airports, which serve approximately 3,600 pilots and about 2,000 registered aircraft,” Bajumpaa continued.

According to the proclamation, the state includes 53 fixed-base operators, 12 repair stations, 17 heliports, one Federal Aviation Administration-approved pilot school, 856 student pilots and 496 flight instructors.

“General aviation airports in North Dakota support more than $121 million in total economic output,” Bajumpaa said.

The industry was also praised for improving overall quality of life by supporting emergency medical and healthcare services, law enforcement, firefighting and disaster relief. There is also the convenience factor of quickly and safely transporting business travelers to their destinations.

“The nation’s aviation infrastructure represents an important public benefit,” Bajumpaa added. “Congressional oversight should be in place of this system to ensure that it remains a public system and serves communities of all sizes.”

No representatives from Harry Stern Airport or the Wahpeton Airport Authority attended the meeting.

Mayor Dale granted several requests for committee consideration. Council members are expected to review:

• items for the next city budget

• agenda topics for an upcoming council retreat

• employee positions at the city’s water treatment plant

Later in the meeting, 1st Ward Councilman Rory McCann offered the first reading of two alcohol-related ordinances. Because these were first readings, a council vote was not required.

Ordinance No. 1004 would allow liquor license holders of any classification to sell up to 72 ounces of beer in a container or containers commemorating the city’s 150th anniversary. There would be a limit of 72 ounces, equivalent to the amount of a six pack, per person per day. There would be no fee for permits issued under Ordinance No. 1004.

“All of the laws and ordinances governing the off-sale of alcoholic beverages and beer shall apply to such sales including but not limited to the days and hours of sale,” the ordinance states.

Ordinance No. 1004 would be in effect until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, 2019.

Ordinance No. 1003 would approve the sale of “growlers.” Growlers are sealed containers which hold at least 12 ounces but no more than 2 liters of beer or wine. They are filled and sealed on-site for the sole purpose of off-premises consumption.

“(City Attorney Steve) Lies suggested creating a new category of liquor license, Class E,” McCann continued. “It would only be issued to a business holding a Class A, B or C license. After discussion, a fee of $25 was suggested to track which businesses need to be advised of the license conditions.”

“Summer Sizzle,” the next weekend celebration of Wahpeton’s 150th anniversary, is scheduled for May 31-June 1, 2019.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, March 18 at City Hall, 1900 Fourth St. N. in Wahpeton.

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