(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
NAME CHANGE: Sand Canyon Airport changes name to Chewelah Municipal Airport…
It is official. The Sand Canyon Airport has changed its name to the Chewelah Municipal Airport. This comes after the Chewelah City Council voted and approved the name change earlier this year. Mayor Dorothy Knauss submitted the paperwork to WSDOT Aviation and the FAA.
“The ‘Sand Canyon Airport’ was viewed as an air park,” Knauss said. “The city intends, now that we own it, to develop it, add fuel, etc., so we think Chewelah Municipal Airport is more reflective of what it will be one day.”
In 2018, the Chewelah City Council, at its February 21 meeting, unanimously approved the sale of a $450,000 bond. With those funds, the city purchased the land that the Sand Canyon Airport sits on, built a new fire station in the golf course neighborhood and a re-roofed the City Hall building.
The 86-acre property was purchased from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Before, the city leased the land from DNR for $700 per year. The land had an appraised value of $259,000.
The city received a $100,000 economic development grant from the Stevens County Commissioners and used $9,000 cash along with the $150,000 bond. The bond was sold to Stevens County and will be repaid over 20 years with a variable interest rate, initially set at 2.9 percent.
City leaders say the airport property gives the city additional space zoned for business that they could earn property tax and other income from. The airport too, can draw in people, provide aviation services and earn funds for the city.