Letters to the Editor

Bumpy flight for taxpayers

The headline in the June 1 New York Post read, “Sticking with failure.” How apropos, even if the article didn’t specifically address MidAmerica Airport.

In the continued absence of airplanes, the latest blip on the airport’s radar screen is bond refinancing.

I don’t profess to be a bond expert. About the only bonds that I’m really familiar with are Barry, Bobby and Ward. Based on the County Board’s recent vote, I’m wondering if most board members are in the same boat.

Chairman Mark Kern said, “This is a defensive strategy to level out payments.”

“We have an opportunity to save money,” said Interim Director of Administration Debra Moore.

How could that be? As a recent BND editorial stated, “The refinancing is going to cost the taxpayers of St. Clair County an estimated $88 million over 30 years, or more than double the $39.85 million that’s owed on the existing bonds.”

This appears to be a more and more expensive game of kick the can. That’s a child’s game with very adult ramifications. Board members have voted to involve our children and grandchildren in making good on this debt.

In 2045, when the bonds are now projected to be paid off, MidAmerica will be 48 years old. If their next 30 years of operation is anything like their first 18, I’m afraid taxpayers are in for a bumpy ride.

Bill Malec

O’Fallon

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