November 1, 2013

Q&A about the airport 28E agreement

Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — The proposed regional airport between Pella and Oskaloosa is one of the most contentious issues in years, and it has played a major role in the election that ends in just a few days.

Here's a look at some of the major questions about the 28E agreement that governs the parties, the answers, and the specific section that applies in each case.

Want to read the entire agreement? Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the whole document. It may take a moment to load, depending on your connection speed.


1. Who pays for construction?

Costs for construction are split 50-50 between the cities of Oskaloosa and Pella. Proponents say the federal government will cover as much as 90 percent of the costs, but the agreement covers only the local governments.




2. Is there a buyout?

Yes, but not in so many words. A penalty clause is part of the agreement should any of the parties refuse to "deny or significantly delay" execution of the agreement.





3. Is there any other way out?

Yes, but only with agreement of the other parties.





4. Who pays for maintenance?

This is where the 60-40 split comes into play. The annual budget is 60 percent Pella, 40 percent Oskaloosa





5. Who's on the board and how is it governed?

Mahaska County, Oskaloosa and Pella will have seats on the six-member board, but they're not evenly assigned. Oskaloosa has two seats, while Mahaska County has one. Pella will have three.





6. What about eminent domain?

Eminent domain is not required by the agreement. But the process is explicitly authorized by the agreement.





7. How big will the airport be?

That will depend on traffic, in large part, but the agreement envisions a Class C airport. That would make it one of Iowa's major airports.