Linda Donaldson is a landowner in the Site A area. She is the fifth-generation of a farming family that has two century farms.
“This is precious farming land with high yields,” she said.
Donaldson said she would like to see a study done to quantify the economic development benefits of the proposed airport. She believed that only a small group of people would benefit from the new airport at the expense of taking away prime farmland and century farms.
Rob Hammann is a landowner at Site B. Hammann said he did not like the lack of landowner representation on the SCRAA board.
“You'd have a better buy-in if someone affected was on the board,” he said.
Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Doland said he did not have any farm ground in the areas of consideration, but he was willing to stand up for those who did.
“Take eminent domain off the table and we'd all be happy,” he said.
After approval of naming Site A as the preferred site and Site B as the secondary, consultants will begin drafting plans and documents such as a layout plan, phasing schedule, financial plan, and environmental impact studies on land and farms. There is no land acquisition planned during the study process. The Federal Aviation Administration must approve the site plan first.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at email@example.com