Council votes to keep land for airport expansion

After the Marshalltown City Council considered rescinding its purchase of 4.4 acres of land near the airport Monday night, it decided to keep it.

The city council approved the $69,520 purchase from the Jeanette A Long Trust in August. Other, larger parcels were considered but the council chose not to purchase those, when plans to extend the airport runway to the northwest were put on hold.

The Long family had requested the city council reconsider the sale because the project wouldn’t be pursued.

However, Monday night the city council decided in a 4-3 vote to keep the land, despite no immediate plans to use it.

“We just felt it was worth it to keep going with the expansion,” Bethany Wirin, at-large council member said. “This is just one piece, it shows we are interested and that is important for the FAA to know.”

Bill Grabe, project manager for Clapsaddle-Garber Associates (CGA), an engineering and land surveyors firm, said the land is necessary for the approved airport layout.

“It is consistent with the C2 airport that we’re striving to meet the standards for,” Grabe said.

The airport’s current runway is 5,000 feet but the ideal length for jets is 5,500. Supporters of the runway extension said the project would allow Marshalltown to keep the traffic it currently has.