The city of Decorah will be issuing up to $1.5 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a large aircraft hangar for Gundersen Health System.
After a public hearing Monday night, the Decorah City Council unanimously approved entering into the loan agreement for the hangar. There were no public comments during the hearing.
Gundersen is planning to have its Medlink Air helicopter permanently based at the Decorah Airport by fall. Gundersen currently has a temporary lease for space at the airport for one of its helicopters, paying the city $500 per month. Once the new hangar is built, Gundersen will have a long-term lease of the hangar that will pay for the cost of the project, according to City Manager Chad Bird.
Bird said plans and specifications for the new hangar are currently being developed with Gundersen and will include living quarters for the helicopter crew. He said the city’s financial advisor has indicated the interest rate on the loan could be about 3 percent, although rates change daily.
“Until we get to closing, we won’t know what that (interest rate) is,” Bird said.
Gundersen also has a helicopter based at the Sparta-Fort McCoy, Wis. Airport.
Gundersen officials have said having the two helicopters based in Decorah and Sparta helps to better cover Gundersen’s entire service area in Southwest Wisconsin, Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota.