To the Editor:
With so much misinformation about the proposed new airport; confusion is understandable. But, it’s important to separate “facts” from “feelings.” Let’s be clear on one point. The new airport will NOT be built with local taxpayer money. Indeed, it will reduce pressure for future property tax hikes by broadening our tax base. So, who pays?
The federal government recognizes our region’s economic growth potential and the need for a state-of-the art airport. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the construction cost will be eligible for FAA funding. The jobs created by airport construction represent an economic windfall for our community. Hundreds of workers — along with the grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, repair shops and other local businesses they frequent — benefit greatly.
More importantly, a larger, regional airport will bolster the economic vitality of our local commercial tax base. And, increased taxes paid by manufacturers reduce the burden on individual property owners to keep our schools strong, roads paved and trash collected. Moreover, it helps ensure well-paying manufacturing jobs are here when our children are ready to start their own families.
Our regional manufacturers need the proposed South Central Regional Airport to grow and prosper. Sure, building the new airport will be disruptive, progress always is. But, it will help secure our children’s future. What happens if there is no new airport? The $27 million in federal money and the opportunity simply move elsewhere. That would be a shame.
Karen Eischen, IOM