Sioux County, Iowa — The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved a change in its rules for grants to help pay for roadways to businesses, making it possible to award a grant to the new Sioux County airport.
Department of Transportation spokesman Craig Markley, says the Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy or RISE program has given money to fund roadways into industrial parks since its inception in 1985. The rule change approved by the Transportation Commission allows them to consider the link between a roadway and an airport when awarding the funds, and it was driven by the planning for the Sioux County airport.
He says it also allows larger planes to take off with bigger loads for the businesses in the region.
RISE grants had been based on an immediate opportunity to build a new business where the road was going, or it could be based on the speculation that adding the road would open the opportunity to lure in new businesses to the facility served by the roadway. Markley says the airport situation is a little different.
The commission approved a 646-thousand dollar grant for the airport.
The commission debated the rule change for the last several months with a concern over how it might impact the overall RISE program. Markley doesn’t expect the impact to be major.
Jerry Searle represented the airport authority at today’s meeting.
The airport will be built near the intersection of U-S Highway 75 and Iowa Highway 10 in Sioux County west of Orange City and south of Sioux Center.