Friday, April 25, 2014

Letters: Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) project wasteful

Letters To The Editor

I’m obligated to voice my opinion on another costly project soon to affect Winnebago County residents. There has been little or no publicity on the Wittman Airport terminal project. Let me correct that — the “administration building” project.

The aviation committee thought it would be wise to change the name so the public wouldn’t be outraged. I formally requested that the county administration reach out for public input into this project. Being a pilot and aircraft owner, I thought I could offer some insight from an airport user’s perspective. In discussion with others who regularly use airport facilities, it was clear that many had strong opinions that needed to be voiced. But our airport director and aviation committee wouldn’t hear of it.

Now, there’s a plan for a two-story building to replace the old terminal. The cost to demolish and rebuild stands at more than $5.1 million. We have no commercial flights at Wittman, so there’s no need for a terminal. A case could be made that we do need an administration building, but at what cost?

The airport “administration” is the airport director and an assistant. The plan indicates that the building will have an administrator office suite, a conference room, two vehicle wash bays, a five-truck garage, a kitchenette, a display room and then the real travesty — it’s planned to be a two-story structure, which will require an elevator to accommodate disability laws at an extra $135,000.

Why is all this needed? If Winnebago County taxpayers knew the details and associated costs of this project, there would be widespread disapproval. We can accomplish what’s needed without all the extravagant features and costs.

Call the county executive or your supervisor and voice your concern or your tax dollars will be spent on this wasteful project.

Larry Last,