In their most recent board meeting, the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) approved a discretionary grant to assist the Osceola Municipal Airport with an unexpected and essential repair project.
In the middle of ongoing FAA priority updates, the Airport Management Commission uncovered a leak in one of the lines to the underground fuel tank. This led to a significant amount of water getting into the tank and rendering it unusable. Basic repairs to the 35-year-old fuel system would have been costly and temporary, so the Commission decided that replacing the underground system would be the best option for the airport and the community.
With funds tied up in current improvement projects, the Airport Management Commission submitted a grant application to the airport division of the Iowa DOT. This state grant will cover 85% of the quarter million dollar cost to replace the entire fuel system. A discretionary grant, approved by the CCDC for the remaining 15% up to $45,000, makes it possible for the airport to prioritize this project and keep regional commerce buzzing.
“The CCDC is happy to help the airport with this unforeseen expense,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “With this and the overall updates taking place, our community will really benefit from enhanced regional access and travel to the area.”
This year, the airport will see concrete repairs to the terminal areas and the runway, but the largest project has been in the works for a few years. In order to comply with mandatory FAA safety standards and remain in good standing with federal grant assurances, the Airport Commission has begun work on the design and land acquisition needed for the construction of a parallel taxiway.
The current setup requires planes to taxi down the single runway to either end, needing to taxi to and from the terminal and the hangars on the same runway used for landing and takeoff. With a parallel taxiway, planes will have a safe and separate area to taxi to and from the hangars without impeding traffic on the main runway.
“In an effort to help improve regional commerce and meet FAA directives, the Airport Management Commission already has several projects planned out,” said Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator. “We’re thankful that the CCDC was able to lend a hand to fix this unexpected issue.”
Airport operation in Osceola, Iowa was opened to the public in November of 1987. Currently, with over 4,000 feet of runway, the regional field provides hangar storage and fuel/refueling options for hobbyists and professionals alike. Businesses like Hormel and Lakeside Hotel and Casino utilize the Osceola landing strip for easy access to and from south central Iowa.