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MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east airport that has never turned a profit since opening with great fanfare 15 years ago continues to lose money.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports an audit shows the St. Clair County-owned MidAmerica St. Louis Airport last year suffered a $3.8 million loss. That's despite boosting revenue by $2.2 million from additional capital funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state.
The airport near Mascoutah got $5.6 million in county funds to subsidize its operations. That brings to $28.7 million the county has funneled into the airport over the past five years.
J.W. Boyle & Co. auditors anticipate the county will continue to subsidize the airport "in the near future."
MidAmerica has struggled since opening in 1998, and critics persistently have labeled it a $330 million boondoggle.
The County Board approved $3.65 million dollars in bonds to finance the expansions on Monday. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that both companies will repay the county through renewed lease agreements at the Mascoutah airport.
County Board Chairman Mark Kern told the paper that the companies expect to add a combined 60 jobs at the site.
The bonds are part of an upcoming $30 million bond sale, which will also fund more than $20 million in road projects and refinance bonds previously issued by the county.