You Paid For It: MidAmerica Airport Jobs

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MASCOUTAH, IL (KTVI)-- St. Clair County's highest elected leader says the county is making progress at the troubled MidAmerica Airport.

MidAmerica is the $317 million airport built in Mascoutah that officials are struggling to get off the ground.

I talked to the head of St. Clair County's governing board Wednesday Chairman Mark Kern.

Kern tells me a new airport quarterly report shows improvement.

For one, Kern says Scott Air Force Base is making extensive use of the runway at MidAmerica.

North Bay produce is expanding warehouse space at MidAmerica to facilitate business in Asia.

Kern also says Boeing is expanding its facility at MidAmerica too.

But there's a long way to go for MidAmerica to be a good deal for you.

St. Clair County taxpayers shell out around $3 million a year to subsidize the airport, money that could have gone to other public purposes.

The airport with its pricy passenger terminal that cost you millions, still just has one airline with 2 flights a week.

MidAmerica had to cut the airport staff from 22 workers down to 12 as part of cost cutting.

Kern says there are no immediate plans to bring them back to work.

St. Clair County council members like Craig Hubbard is one of those who says pull the plug.

MidAmerica was built in the 90's as a reliever airport for Lambert because federal and local officials at the time thought there would be a huge increase in air travel.

But that didn't happen, so officials have been scrambling ever since, struggling to turn this questionable deal around.

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