Belleville News-Democrat - - Opinion -

The Oct. 28 print edi­tion of the BND had an ar­ti­cle con­cern­ing the MidAmer­ica Air­port and the on­go­ing money hole the St. Clair County ad­min­is­tra­tion is throw­ing our tax money into.

Last year, over $8 mil­lion was given to the air­port au­thor­ity to meet their op­er­at­ing ex­penses. This is over and above the monies gen­er­ated by air pas­sen­ger in­come and other sources like land­ing rights, fuel pur­chases and other rental in­come.

Of course, I would still be belly­ach­ing if the air­port were break­ing even be­cause it was much her­alded by ev­ery­body con­cerned that if the air­port were to be built it would be a fi­nan­cial panacea for the county. Many years and many, many mil­lions of dol­lars later we find our­selves fi­nanc­ing, prob­a­bly for­ever, what should be known to ev­ery voter as the prover­bial “al­ba­tross” around our neck.

And yet … and yet, now the county board has au­tho­rized the Air­port Com­mis­sion to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion for a grant of more than $24 mil­lion for air­port im­prove­ments and it will only cost us $6 mil­lion. Boy, what a deal! And on top of that they have taken the free air­port pas­sen­ger park­ing away. Did I hear right that an out-of-state com­pany was paid to de­sign an up­dated pay-to-park gated sur­face park­ing lot? Truly some­thing has to be done to stop or mit­i­gate this on­go­ing fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter. – Mike Mercurio, Belleville

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