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Rochelle announces $1.5 million airport expansion

Published: Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Attending the Rochelle Municipal Airport expansion's groundbreaking ceremony are (from left) Jeff Polsean, Department of Commerce and Opportunity; Ed Rice and Dennis Berg, councilmen; Tim Bivins, state senator; Don Elliot; Mark Delhotal, airport manager; David Plyman, city manager, Jarid Funderburg from Congressman Adam Kinzinger's office; Phil Silas, Illinois Department of Transportaiton – Division of Aeronautics; and Kathy Hollonbeck, councilwoman. Photo submitted by Katie Wolf.

ROCHELLE – In the mid 1940s, business man, LaVerne Schultz, created a grass runway near his factory on state Route 251 South, first known as Schultz Field.

In 1963, he donated 27 acres of land to the city of Rochelle in the same location and construction began on a 2,100-foot, hard-surface runway.

In 1988, the runway was lengthened and widened to the current 4,226-feet by 75-feet.

Over the last 5 years, the city of Rochelle has worked closely with the Illinois Division of Aeronautics, the Federal Aviation Administration, local land owners and city officials to purchase land necessary to extend the runway to 5,000-feet by 75-feet.

The additional length will allow industries based in Rochelle to utilize the Rochelle Municipal Airport instead of neighboring airports.

The $1.5 million project is 90 percent funded by discretionary money distributed by the state of Illinois and 10 percent by the city of Rochelle.

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