The Des Moines Register article describing the conundrum in the Pella, Iowa proposal to build a new airport because the plan should be premised upon local demographics and regional politics. In all likelihood, the reasonable Airport Authority, not responsive to any individual elected official, will make the final decision on if and when an airport will be created. Clearly, the FAA may yet involve itself. However this certainly has not occurred yet.
They say signs opposing the airport are all over town. A petition is circulating. Websites like noregionalairport.com have been created. Intensifying the backlash is the fact that eminent domain could be used to take farmers' land to build the airport at one of three sites between Pella and Oskaloosa. They believe there is enough division in town that the matter should go to a vote. Their question to the Des Moines Register Reader's Watchdog: Why can't there be one? For one thing, Iowa law allows local governments to create independent entities that aren't directly accountable to taxpayers. The South Central Regional Airport Agency was formed under a frequently used legal contract between jurisdictions -- it's called a 28E agreement. The agency has been charged to usher the evaluation, construction and operations of a regional airport. Pella city administrator Mike Nardini downplayed how far along the planning was and said the agency is still researching options and alternatives.