I am concerned about taxpayer money being used to fund Vista Field. This local airport seems to serve the interests of only a small number of recreational pilots and perhaps a very small number of local businesses. Is this sufficient enough to justify taxpayer support in these lean economic times?
Today, the airport is situated in the middle of a vibrant and growing commercial district, where increasingly land is at a premium. It occupies land that might provide much greater value and be better used by directly situating new or existing businesses. This in turn would better support the local tax base and the community overall.
The public needs independent research funded by the Port of Kennewick, and not by the entities using the airport, indicating a recent net positive economic effect to the community. This would include levels of public financing of Vista Field's operation. It would also include any economic benefit realized by local businesses through the use of Vista Field but not available through the use of one of the other existing local airports.
Complete transparency around this issue, including an unbiased assessment of the airport's net economic value, would best serve taxpayers' interests.
Wesley Luckey, Kennewick