Lakeland Currents: Regional Airport Authorities
In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature revised state statutes to allow an Airport Authority to have taxing authority. The idea was that such a move would provide airports with more stable funding year to year and also aid in opening opportunities for further improvements. That following year, effective Jan. 1, 2009, the Bemidji Regional Airport transitioned from being a joint city- and county-owned and operated airport to one owned and operated by an Airport Authority with its own tax levy and funding responsibilities. This was done to provide additional visibility of the airport financial structure and costs to the communities it supports. For this discussion, we welcome to the program Karen Weller, the executive director of the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority, and Ron Johnson, one of five members of the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority.