The Mahaska County Board is sending a letter to the Cities of Oskaloosa and Pella about the status of 220th Street in the area where a proposed airport would be built. The letter was approved at Tuesday’s (2/18) County Board meeting. The letter says “the South Central Regional Airport Authority cannot legally compel the County Board to exercise…authority with regard to property or roads under our jurisdiction.” Farmers use 220th Street to transport goods. The Airport Authority wants to eliminate 220th Street as part of the airport plan and either create a new service road for farmers to use or re-route farm traffic to Highway 163. Mahaska County Board Chairman Mark Groenendyk doesn’t want to add farm traffic to Highway 163.
“You push more slow moving traffic onto a four lane highway where the State regulates it and possibly limits the speed limit someday so they’re (farm vehicles) aren’t allowed there either. It’s all about communication, legally who has responsibility for what decisions and just moving forward with trying to figure out where we’re at with this 28E.”
The County Board’s letter also asks if the Airport Authority’s proposals would use the County’s eminent domain authority. Legal action between Mahaska County and the Cities of Oskaloosa and Pella is ongoing, as is legal action between landowners on the proposed airport site and the County.