Letters to the Editor

Nothing is free in life

As a St. Clair County taxpayer, I read BND’s article highlighting the Public Building Commission’s recent actions with interest. The proposed more than $500,000 increase in MidAmerica Airport’s operating expenses in 2017 was not music to my ears. Based on the PBC’s proposals, taxpayers will be asked to cover additional costs.

MidAmerica seems to be getting into the parking lot business big-time. The term “business” is a misnomer since the county leadership thinks that each and every Tom, Dick, and Harriet that takes advantage of low-price Allegiant airfares must also get free parking to go with it.

We all know nothing is free. St. Clair County residents who fly Allegiant may rightfully be entitled to free parking, but those coming from elsewhere are getting a real steal.

If you’ve visited the county courthouse in Belleville you know that the county already knows how to run a parking garage. It’s time they put that expertise to work out at the airport. They need to fence in that vast parking expanse, put up a pay station, and charge a nominal parking fee. Near-terminal parking at Lambert Airport is $15 a day, so there’s lots of wiggle room.

Look at it as a “user fee” just like for toll roads. In an era when airlines consider charges for overhead luggage space or lavatory use, a parking fee is not far-fetched. Revenue generation is not a sin. These are challenging financial times; everyone needs to pony-up their fair share.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon

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