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Letters to the editor: Taxpayers deserve answers on Wittman Regional Airport spending

3:27 PM, Dec. 9, 2013  |  Comments

I must be a misinformed taxpayer of Winnebago County. I attended the 2014 County budget meeting and asked these three questions concerning tax dollars. No one chose to answer.

1. How does Wittman Regional Airport expect more income next year from the storage of Oshkosh trucks when income from this storage has declined already this year? Today most of the trucks are gone. A shortage of about a half million dollars of income based on the current situation of Oshkosh Truck not securing new Defense Department contracts seems to be a cautious estimate.

2. Why do we keep spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the airport fire equipment? Based on Wittman airport's status, the FAA does not require our airport to provide fire service. Other airports like us do not provide fire protection. Furthermore, referencing the FAA airport directory, Wittman is listed as an airport that does not have fire service staffing on the property!

3. Since 2011 we have spent nearly $200,000 on promotions at the airport. How do we measure success? $75,000.00 was spent to list Wittman airport as the "official airport" of a cable TV show produced in Canada. Over $14,000 was spent on web blogs, written by a firm in Chicago. Over $6,000 was spent on some sort of writing contest for Oshkosh School students. The answers must be so obvious almost no one on the Winnebago County Board, or our executive, raised an eyebrow.

What I did learn is that Wittman airport is "off limits" when questioning spending! Buckle up fellow taxpayers; in the near future the airport advisory board wants to build a new terminal building. Yes a new terminal/bus station! Dumb questions?maybe?maybe not; it seems everyone at the meeting must have known the answers?but me, the taxpayer!

Larry Last

Oshkosh

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