Pella Chronicle

May 10, 2013

A need or a want?

The Chronicle

Pella —

To the editor,

I am writing in reference to the new proposed regional airport that the SCRAA (South Central Regional Airport Assoc.) has been talking about. The biggest struggle I have with this airport being built is the issue of…. is this a need or a want? 
The City of Oskaloosa has a great airport. It can add on to the runway very easily with very little expense. Drive time to Osky’s airport would be no different if it was moved. You just drive west instead of east.  And the biggest bonus for Oskaloosa… their current airport operates in the black!
Pella’s airport – now that’s a little different story. I talked with Mr. Vande Voort, the manager of Pella’s airport. He filled me in on the changes that would have to be made to expand.  Buildings and hangars would have to be moved which would be a lot of hassle and a lot of money, but not impossible! The runway would have to be lengthened and a taxiway added. That would change a few houses and golf course holes, again a hassle and a lot of money, but not impossible!  As of now Pella’s airport is in Pella – travel time is zero. Move it out of town and the travel time is extended to 15 minutes or longer.
Mr. Vande Voort also said about 97% of the flights in and out of the Pella airport are perfectly fine the way the airport is now. That means that the city will spend millions of your tax dollars for a mere 3% of flights all year long. Whoa Nellie! Is this a need or a want? 
You want a real need? According to Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, 26,500 children die each day of preventable causes related to poverty and hunger. 26,500!! Really? Each and every day??! That’s 10 million children each year! And it’s preventable!!!
These elected City Councils are not stupid. The SCRAA Board members are not stupid. They are good, intelligent people making really bad choices. Now that you know the difference between a need and a want, make the wise choice. Become who you were created to be… a servant-hearted leader.

Tim Van Maanen