Regional Airport meeting raises concerns from public

Oskaloosa Iowa City Hall

City Hall - Oskaloosa, Iowa

Oskaloosa  City Manager Michael Schrock held one of a series of two public meetings this evening on the possibility of a regional airport. Schrock explained to the packed room that the purpose of the meeting was to inform the public of what the current ongoing process of possibly working with the City of Pella to develop a regional airport shared by Pella, Oskaloosa, and Mahaska County. Schrock also said that after these meetings, he will report back to the Oskaloosa City Council and inform them what the public is thinking on this matter. From there the city council will make a decision as to continue to look into a regional airport or should scrap any plans for one.

Schrock began by explaining that in November of 2000, the city of pella received a temporary Class C airport licensing meaning that they could land regional airport aircraft temporarily. In getting the license, Pella was informed that they must begin the process of building a regional airport.

Schrock explained that one of the biggest reasons for wanting Oskaloosa to build a regional airport is the needs from Musco and Pella Corp for their private jets. Schrock said that a bigger airport was needed for bigger corporate jets. Schrock explained that both communities were given a list of expectations that must be met in order for a joint regional airport to occur. The biggest thing was that both communities must close their airports. Schrock said that through the closing of the Oskaloosa Airport, the city could receive some money through the sale of the airport to be used for the regional airport.

Oskaloosa Iowa City Council Chambers

Another expectation is that the city and county must be willing to condemn property if necessary. Schrock explained that the Oskaloosa will not be able to find 500 acres of land not

currently being used, for development. He said that if this project advances, the city and county will offer buyouts to property owners and if necessary, will condemn property so that the land can be used for the airport.

Schrock also opened the floor for public comment. One citizen present noted that Schrock had seemed to talk more about how this is needed for business. He went on to ask whether ornot this airport would be open for recreational use. Schrock responded by saying that this would be open to the public “Recreational users would still be able to use it (the airport).It will be a public admisable airport.” Former City Council member Jimmy Carter was present and referred back to a referendum vote in 2005 in which Osky Citizens voted not to support a regional airport would still be valid or if now that decision was “null and void” and not being considered anymore. Schrock responded by saying he would have to look more into the decision from then.

When asked about how Oskaloosa will benefit financially from this airport, Schrock responded by saying saying there would be no guaranteed financial profit but that economic development could result from this airport “There is no guarantee that it is going to provide any direct financial profit, however what you don’t account for is maybe corporations stay, maybe the corporations grow, maybe their competition locates its force to Iowa, maybe their business customers come in and spend money.”

Schrock said that he will be holding one more meeting similar to the one this past evening at 6 pm this Thursday in the Oskaloosa Public Libary 3rd floor meeting room.

Posted by on Nov 16 2010. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

3 Comments for “Regional Airport meeting raises concerns from public”

  1. […] you want info from the first meeting, you can follow this link HERE to that story. You can also join us on Facebook for comments or questions on this story by […]

  2. […] the regional airport, please read our previous stories about the proposal by clicking HERE and HERE. Share this story News « New Law Firm joins the Downtown    […]

  3. […] Regional Airport meeting raises concerns from the public- November 16th […]

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