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Thursday, May 5, 2016

County takes over remains of kit helicopter company

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Pawnee Aviation experimental helicopter named "Miss McCook" and a helicopter cabin await action by Red Willow County commissioners.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners can now decide what to do with inventory from the kit helicopter manufacturing company that borrowed $300,000 from the county's revolving loan program in December 2004 and defaulted.

County attorney Paul Wood informed commissioners at their meeting Monday morning that Ron Willocks, owner of Pawnee Aviation, has signed over tools and equipment to the county in return for releasing the county's security interest.

The list includes "Miss McCook" prototype parts and a single-seat helicopter prototype frame and rotor.

A fiberglass helicopter cabin is among the items remaining from Pawnee Aviation's factory in McCook.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette)
A finished helicopter sits in storage in Colorado, where the county is second to a lien there, Wood told commissioners in May.

The county will most likely declare the aviation tools and equipment surplus, and sell it at a sale. Money generated from a sale will have to be sent to the State of Nebraska Department of Economic Development, which assumed control of counties' revolving loan funds and projects in mid-2012.

The county started its revolving loan program in the mid-1990s, funding it with the payments made by the two McCook-area dairies built with loans from the federal government's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. As the dairies made payments to the county, the county took those funds and made low-interest loans to existing local businesses or to new small businesses promising to create jobs.

Red Willow County turned over the balance of its revolving loan fund -- about $267,500 -- to the DED in June 2012.

This is a partial list of tools and equipment turned over to the county by Pawnee Aviation: Hand pallet truck, drill press, tubing bender, bead blaster, disk/belt sander, TIG welder, cold saw, forklift.

Paint booth, 14" chock saw, 2-ton floor hoist, 5.0 horsepower vacuum, heavy commercial steel rack, 1-ton chain hoist, steel stands and tables.

Two black poly aircraft seats, fiberglas cabin enclosure, frame segment for drivetrain and cabin, original "Miss McCook" prototype parts, single-seat helicopter prototype frame and rotor, two 16-foot steel rotor blade tables, five 16-foot wooden rotor layout tables, cabin enclosure mold, rotor spar molds, rotor outer molds, two reverse rotor molds.

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