New helicopter landing considered in Nevis

A site at the old Nevis airport is being explored as a potential landing pad.

Helicopters are sometimes used to take patients to a larger hospital. Nevis currently uses a field at the school, but that isn't accessible in winter.
Enterprise file photo

Having a helicopter landing pad near the old Nevis airport is being explored.

Fire Chief Josh Winter asked the Nevis City Council at their Monday, May 8 meeting about the possibility of setting up a spot for helicopters to land out by the old airport near the shed. The site would be used when people need medical transport.

Currently, the helicopter lands at the field by the school, but that doesn’t work during the winter as it is covered with snow, so they have to find another place to land.

Winter said that if the landing pad was on the old airport property, the city could keep it plowed in the winter. He is looking into requirements for a helicopter site. He said the most basic helicopter landing sites are simply a dirt pad with a wind sock. “Eventually, we could pave it if we wanted to,” he said.

The council approved land survey work at the fire hall/public works building by Compass Consultants, as recommended by city maintenance supervisor Don Umthun. This is the first step in the process of adding a city maintenance facility on the property.


The cost of the survey will be split between the city maintenance department and the fire department, since moving the maintenance office to a separate building would also benefit the fire department.

Winter also reported that the new fire truck is equipped except for the box and lights that go on the box. The department is planning to use it as a first response truck until that work is done. He said they have been fortunate as there has only been one small grass fire so far this spring.

The council approved Winter’s request to purchase special gloves designed for firefighters from a fire supplier, as the leather gloves they are currently using get slippery and make it hard to hold onto the hoses when spraying water. The gloves cost $125 a pair for a total cost of $2,375. They will be paid for with fire department funds.

Winter also asked the council for their input on having water wars during Muskie Days, similar to what is done in Park Rapids during Legends and Logging Days.

“We used to do water wars back when we had Uff Da Days,” he said.

The council consensus favored the idea of bringing back water wars, and Winter should check with the Nevis Civic & Commerce about the best place and time for the event in the Muskie Days schedule.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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