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Ennis Daily News

Residents need to share their airport opinions

There are worthy points to consider on both sides of the years-long discussion of whether Ennis should build a new airport.
City and business leaders have almost unanimously come out behind the project, which has a projected price tag of more than $30 million.
That cost would hang largely on the federal support that has driven so many airport projects in communities the size of Ennis.

There is no question that access is important in economic development. Building a new airport would improve air traffic safety and flow, as well as allow for larger planes to land in Ennis. That has the potential to set a stage for economic development on the next level up from where Ennis has been in the last decade.

We must ask ourselves whether we as a community are comfortable with the price of that access. In a period in the history of our country marked by unprecedented debt-per-citizen, it’s a question of whether our arguments about federal spending hold water at the local level.

Earmarks, federal mismanagement of funds, pork-barrel spending and other terms like those boil down to communities across America looking for a return on the money they pay to Uncle Sam. The idea has become “I don’t like it, but I won’t turn it down in my back yard” for many Americans, and it’s an understandable attitude.

What we as a community from you, dear informed readers of the Ennis Daily News, is opinions. We need more people like those who came to the Thursday public hearing on the airport to speak out on their feelings of whether they want a new airport project and the possible burden it represents. As we said, there are good arguments on both sides of this, and we need to hear more of them articulated in a forum that helps us all to get a bigger and more comprehensive feel for the attitudes of our community.

Realistically, it’s entirely possible that the project will be delayed for a number of years by the fits and starts of the federal funding mechanism that is so key to its successful development. While we wait for the availability of that funding, however, it is appropriate to discuss the benefits and ramifications of using that money.

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Posted by on Apr 25 2010. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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