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Ronan City Council adopts federal airport regulations

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RONAN — The regularly scheduled Ronan City Council meeting was postponed the night of Nov. 13 due to a lack of a quorum. 

A minimum of four city council members must be present to take a vote. As there were only three council members in attendance, the meeting was moved to noon the following day. 

Items on the agenda included a water project update from engineers Shari Johnson and Roland Godan as well as a new resolution regarding airport regulations. 

Johnson and Godan were happy to report that the $5 million project to update Ronan’s water system will be fully operational by the first of the year, if not sooner. 

Public Works Director Dan Miller presented a resolution concerning airport regulations. According to Miller, any federally funded airport must abide by new and existing federal requirements. In some cases, these regulations affect the surrounding area as well as the airport itself. 

The Ronan airport is a federally funded airport, as the majority of the infrastructure projects and infrastructure updates are funded with federal monies.

“When you get federal funding, you get the tag-along regulations,” Miller said. 

The new regulation adopted by Ronan’s city council concerns new building and tree heights within the vicinity of the airport. These regulations will not affect existing structures or trees. Any new structures or trees must be below a certain height if they are within the conical zone that extends from the center of the airport. In downtown Ronan, any new building or tree more than 150 feet tall will have to be eliminated. Because the zone is sloped, the maximum height for new buildings and trees at the outer edges of Ronan’s city limits  increases to 300 feet.

“I don’t believe any of the trees that grow around here will ever reach that height,” Miller said. “It’s more of a regulation we just need to have on the books. I don’t think we’ll ever need to enforce it.”

Miller said the only structures he believes might be affected by the new height regulations would be cell phone towers. However, cell phone towers are generally located well beyond city limits, so the tower owners can avoid increased taxes and building permits required to build within city limits.  

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