Thursday, January 21, 2016

Carroll Airport Commission Says It Has No Choice But To File Lawsuit Against Local Farmer

Following years of attempted negotiations to remove or reduce a flight hazard south of the Carroll airport the Carroll Airport Commission says it has little choice, but to take farmer Loren Danner to court. Commission member Greg Siemann says a grain leg constructed on the property violates various ordinances, one of which was adopted by the city of Carroll in 1978.

Many pilots, he says, have commented on the proximity of the grain leg. Commission Member Kevin Wittrock adds that the structure is all but invisible as it disappears under a planes left wing as it comes in to land.

The grain leg intrudes 60 feet into the airspace at the ends of runways 1-3 and 3-1 at a height of 1,414 feet above sea level due to the lay of the land. Prior to the grain leg’s construction Danner indicated proper paperwork was filed with Carroll County, however, Siemann says the commission was not notified.

Siemann says allowing the grain leg to remain would set a precedent for any future construction and it would allow a hazard for air traffic to remain.

A trial date has been set for June 28, 2016. Members of the Commission stated they are open to the reduction of the tower’s height by 61 feet or more and are not necessarily looking for its removal. Danner says the grain leg cost around $300,000 to build and lowering the system would impede his operations. He added to lower the system by 40 feet the cost would be well over $200,000 due to the need to install conveyors. When contacted to discuss the pending lawsuit Carroll County Attorney John Werden declined to comment.

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