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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Audit: Struggling MidAmerica airport again posts loss

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:59 Published in Local News

   MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east airport that has never turned a profit since opening with great fanfare 15 years ago continues to lose money.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports an audit shows the St. Clair County-owned MidAmerica St. Louis Airport last year suffered a $3.8 million loss. That's despite boosting revenue by $2.2 million from additional capital funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state.

   The airport near Mascoutah got $5.6 million in county funds to subsidize its operations. That brings to $28.7 million the county has funneled into the airport over the past five years.

   J.W. Boyle & Co. auditors anticipate the county will continue to subsidize the airport "in the near future."

   MidAmerica has struggled since opening in 1998, and critics persistently have labeled it a $330 million boondoggle.

 

Key vote on McKee's NorthSide plan expected

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:47 Published in Local News

   A key Aldermanic committee is expected to vote Wednesday morning on tax incentives for Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration plan.  

   Passage of the updated $390 million TIF isn't assured, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that its chances are better after a hearing yesterday.  U.S. Congressman Lacy Clay, Mayor Francis Slay, and other voiced strong support for the two square mile development north of downtown.  

   No vote was taken yesterday because half of the eight-member Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee was absent from the meeting.  Five committee members must be present for a quorum.

   The Aldermen missing from Tuesday's committee hearing were Terry Kennedy,  who was attending a funeral.  Sam Moore, who's recuperating from a bad car accident last week.  Antonio French and Chris Carter, whose absence was unexplained.  Neither could be reached for comment.  Board President Lewis Reed could have filled in, but his staff told the paper that he was out of town. 

   If the committee approves the changes to the TIF, it will then go before the full Board of Aldermen, where it's chances of passage have improved.  

   Alderman Freeman Bosley Senior, whose ward makes up a large part of the project area, had opposed the project, but has apparently changed his mind.  Bosley toured the project area with McKee last Wednesday and told the paper that after seeing McKee's plans, he doesn't know anyone who would oppose it.  

IL's top legislators want Quinn's appeal rejected

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:04 Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

   House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.

 

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