Officials in Le Mars may need to change plans for a new, one-million-gallon water tower for the city.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the tower’s location would be in the flight path for planes flying in and out of the Le Mars Municipal Airport. Current plans call for a 140-foot tower. FAA officials say the tower cannot be any taller than 86 feet in the proposed location or it will pose a hazard to planes using the airport. Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel says the city is considering its options.

“We value a water system pretty much on an equal basis with the airport that we also have,” Langel says, “so we don’t want one facility causing problems or issues for the other, so there’s an equilibrium here that we need to attain between the need for a water tower and the need for a very functional airport.”

The city bought slightly more than two acres of land for the tower and booster station in southwest Le Mars. Langel says officials still believe it’s the best spot for a tower, but something will need to change if the F-A-A sticks by its decision.

“That site is probably the best site for not only taking water from the water treatment plant and putting it into storage,” Langel says, “but then also the flip side of that equation is getting it out of storage and getting it to the customers that we serve.”

Langel says two engineering firms are already reviewing the location and design of the tower, studying possible ways to reconfigure things.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)