Plan to build Rib Mountain runway moves forward - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Plan to build Rib Mountain runway moves forward

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RIB MOUNTAIN (WAOW) - A Rib Mountain man's plan to build a private runway on his property is moving forward.

The runway would be near Nine Mile Forest, but some neighbors are trying to stop the plan, before it even takes off.

Keith Kocourek wants to be able to land his small airplane on his property. He declined an interview with Newsline 9, but spoke at a public meeting. He's asking the town of Rib Mountain to issue a company called REI Engineering a conditional use permit to build a grass runway on his property.

But some neighbors are not on board with the plan. Many spoke at a public hearing Wednesday night.

Pat Frodl lives next to the proposed runway. She said she sold that land to Kocourek.

But if she knew what he wanted to do with it, she said she wouldn't have.

 "I don't feel good about it at all," said Frodl. "Because I feel that could have been moved over farther to the west."

Kocourek defended his plan, saying his small plane is just about as loud as a motorcycle.

 "It's strictly a grass strip to land on a couple times a week, said Kocourek. "Just for personal enjoyment and more importantly cleaning up the property."

Rib mountain officials said the proposed runway would be a first for the town. They say the proposal does not include lights or additional buildings.

Kocourek said he also needs permission from the FAA, the DNR, and the Department of Transportation for his plan to take off.

The planning commission voted unanimously on Wednesday night to move the plan forward.

Town leaders said the board is expected to vote on the proposed airstrip at its next meeting on Tuesday.

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