The city of Pella has made its first public land purchase for the South Central Regional Airport Agency.
Approximately 78.39 acres of agricultural land, located in Mahaska County, was purchased from Marion and Dorothy Vos on Dec. 10 by the city. The property was purchased in two separate transactions, totaling $1,171,931.
According to Pella City Administrator Mike Nardini, who serves as staff to the SCRAA board, the city received a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $1,054,738 for the purchase. The city’s share of the purchase totaled $58,596.50. At this time, no other land purchases for the SCRAA can be made public, according to Nardini.
In November 2018, the SCRAA board voted to move forward on acquiring land for a regional airport after holding a public hearing in Pella, even if it requires the use of eminent domain. The project has sparked controversy in Pella, Oskaloosa and the surrounding communities since its initial proposal.
The SCRAA is currently in the land-acquisition phase to construct a 580-plus acre airport, which would be located north of Highway 163 and northwest of Oskaloosa. The project is a joint venture via a 28E Agreement with the cities of Pella and Oskaloosa, as well as Mahaska County.