Thursday, December 21, 2017

City to request release of 337 acres of Oskaloosa Municipal Airport (KOOA) land

The City of Oskaloosa is requesting that the FAA release the city from federal obligation 337 acres of land at the Oskaloosa Municipal Airport. If the request is approved, the city will sell the land, which is designated non-aeronautical, and re-invest the proceeds in the South Central Regional Airport. The land shaded in yellow is dedicated airport land that is necessary for aeronautical operations and must stay in use until the new airport is operating.

OSKALOOSA — The city of Oskaloosa took another step toward divesting itself of Oskaloosa Municipal Airport property.

At Monday's meeting, the Oskaloosa City Council approved a resolution to submit requests to the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Defense to release about 337 acres of non-aeronautical use property at the municipal airport.

The move comes on the heels of the South Central Regional Airport Agency's approval last week of a task order to have the requests prepared.

“This item provides support to the South Central Regional Airport Agency to proceed with completing the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense Procedures to dispose of federally obligated land at the Oskaloosa Municipal Airport that is not needed for aeronautical purposes so the revenue from the disposal of the land can be re-invested in the South Central Regional Airport,” Mayor David Krutzfeldt said. “This action will not result in the actual sale or disposal of the airport property. The disposal process requires a second action to be taken by the city of Oskaloosa and the Oskaloosa City Council at a future date and time.”

A request for release has to be submitted to the Department of Defense because the Oskaloosa Municipal Airport was once an auxiliary airfield of the Ottumwa Naval Air Station.

“We know there will be a Department of Defense clearance that we need to work through,” City Manager Michael Schrock said. “We think that will occur rather quickly.”

Council Member Tom Walling asked how long the FAA process would take.

“It's the FAA process for the release from the federal obligations that may take a little bit longer,” Schrock said. “We want to be teed up and ready to go when the FAA is ready to move forward with that. Back in 2012, we completed a preliminary request for release and submitted that to the FAA, so they're well aware of what we want to do. We've been expressing our intentions for many years.”

He added that it would be at least a year, though, because some of the land is currently leased.

“We know it will be at least a year before the release occurs because there's a lease on the farm ground itself today,” Schrock said. “We're required to provide 90 days notice within any calendar year, and we've missed that window by a little bit. So, we'll talk to that leaseholder, and we're going to talk to the Oskaloosa Airport Board next month and see where we're at with it. We obviously have to provide them notice. If that means one more year for crops, we get another year of revenue.”

A question was also raised regarding whether the land would be parceled out or sold all at once, assuming the FAA grants the release request.

“Given the situation with the project and having some anticipated need to get some money up front quickly, I suspect we'll release the property, if given the approval, all at once, so we can get money into the project and move forward with the property acquisition phase of the project,” Schrock answered.

The total property at the municipal airport is over 600 acres. The remaining 277 acres, which is deemed necessary for aeronautical operations, would continue to operate until the new airport is operating.

“It's good to see this project continue to move forward,” Council Member Doug Yates said. “It's very important for our region, and it's great to see these steps being taken.”

Original article can be found here ➤

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