St. Cloud Airport Gets One of First and Last Grants Under FAA Subsidy Program Set to End
The St. Cloud Regional Airport is banking on a recently announced $750,000 federal grant to land an airline at the airport that’s been virtually deserted since Delta terminated service in and out of St. Cloud in late 2009.
St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) touts lots of amenities on its website—a café, ATM, free wi-fi, free parking and a $5 million completely renovated terminal whose capacity went up dramatically from 30 to 200 travelers. There's also a new $750,000 passenger boarding bridge secured with federal stimulus funds to keep travelersout of the elements while catching a flight. One asset, however, the newly renovated airport notably lacks—commercial flights and passengers.
FFM's Tom Steward wrote a commentary piece for MPR on the proposed Northstar extension from Minneapolis to St. Cloud.
National Watchdog group Watchdog.org ran our piece: The Taxpayers' Missing Link?
Northstar Commuter Rail has been running from Big Lake to Downtown Minneapolis since November 2009. While ridership has been on par with projections by Metro Transit, taxpayers are still subsidizing $80 for every $15 round-trip ticket, according to a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota analysis. Yet Northstar officials and policymakers continue to push an extension of the line to St. Cloud, which would have a major impact on taxpayers.
Not just for special interest groups like teachers, higher education, subsidized housing advocates, green energy contractors, arts groups, andgovernment workers at every level, but also for the media and watchdog organizations exposing thousands of nonexistent jobs supposedly saved or created by the binge spending, a not so transparent process and hundreds of phantom congressional districts.
Amid increasing concern over how local officials will deal with unprecedented budget challenges in their communities, The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) issued its first Issue Spotlight, commending several local governments for exploring creative, effective ways to control spending while continuing to deliver critical services.
As the federal stimulus package continues to balloon closer to $1 trillion on the fast track to passage, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota released a top ten list of the worst funding requests submitted by Minnesota cities as part of the process.
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