February 03, 2023

Airport Commission update brings fresh thoughts

On Jan. 3, Creston City Council approved the inclusion of up to two Union County residents outside of Creston for the Creston Airport Commission.

This has been an effort long in the making for Union County resident Leslie Wurster, who pushed for this change. Originally brought to the council in 2009, Wurster was quickly shut down.

“Chet Culver had the local house pass that two out of five or one out of three board members could be from out in the county,” Wurster said about Iowa’s former governor. “[Warren] Woods was mayor at that time and he wouldn’t let us do it.”

Wurster and her husband Greg have been passionate about the airport since the early 2000s and wanted to join the board to implement some new ideas.

“We wanted to be on the airport commission because we didn’t really agree with all the decisions that were being made,” Wurster said. “We thought we had better ideas and wanted to have more community events out there.”

However, after being denied by the city government, the Wursters’ involvement in the airport declined. Luckily for other county residents, their love for flying did not.

When Wurster was approached about joining the airport commission this year, she replied she couldn’t because she was “not a city person.” This relaunched her efforts into bringing county residents to the airport commission.

Though not as involved as in 2009, Wurster’s flying buddy just might be up for the challenge of becoming the first non-Creston board member.

Lisa and Denny Quam have been active at the Creston Airport since 2006. They joined forces with the Wursters and worked hard to make the airport more appealing to non-aviation minded residents.

“We painted the terminal, did some landscaping and did the sign out there in hopes that we would start having more fly-ins down there,” Lisa said. “Those kind of got pushed away.”

Fly-ins, gatherings where pilots arrive by airplane for events like pancake breakfasts or simply to show off their aircraft, used to be common at the airport.

This week, Lisa put in her application for the airport commission. Her goal is for the airport to help in the revival of the town.

“We need to see the other opportunities and other possibilities for the airport,” Lisa said. “We could have a a little cafe out there, where you could have your coffee and watch airplanes.”

Other ideas Lisa had included bringing remote control airplanes to the airport and implementing more family-friendly events.

In the end, Lisa is just glad to have this opportunity.

“I’m thrilled that the vote went through and the county people outside the city can now be involved,” Lisa said. “If you want a commission to actually function, don’t worry about technicality, worry about what someone can bring to the table.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.