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Uncle Sam to Spend Millions on Madison Airport

Last year our man Hunter criticized the spending of $4.1 million in federal stimulus dollars to build an airport on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. That airport was built to provide emergency air travel and economic opportunity for 20,000 underserved South Dakotans.

I eagerly await Mr. Hunter's criticism of even greater federal expenditures for the expansion of an airport serving even fewer South Dakotans. Mr. Hunter's own newspaper reports that the municipal airport right here in Madison, population 6,500, stands to receive about $4.5 million in federal handouts for various projects over the next three years.

Now I cannot speak to the quality or value of our fine local airport. I've never flown out of Madison. Neither has anyone else I can think of. So I would like to know:

  1. How many local residents use the Madison airport to travel out of the county?
  2. How many businesspeople, hunters, tourists, and other sources of business activity fly into the Madison airport each year?
  3. How much economic activity is generated by the Madison airport?

The answers to these questions may provide a perfectly reasonable justification for the federal government to pick up 95% of the cost of our local airport improvements. All the Republicans in Madison had better hope those answers are good enough to convince Representative-Elect Kristi Noem to keep her Tea Party budget axe away from our airport.

One Comment

  1. Nick Nemec 2010.12.01

    Sounds like a earmark to me. If these things were decided strictly on need most of the airport improvement money would go to places like O'Hare or Dulles.

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