Benton Mayor Comments On Airport Board Turmoil

(BENTON, IL) — With the recent news that the Benton Municipal Airport Board may have allegedly voted on actions without having the needed quorum and is missing several public agendas and meeting minutes, Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz cleared the air about the city’s relationship with the board at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Kondritz says the board doesn’t answer to the council, but it brings recommendations to the council so the mayor can sign off on them as a sponsor. He went on to say even though the city doesn’t answer for the airport board, it does answer for the airport land. He added that there are “no shenanigans” going on either with the board meetings or board members. Shortly after becoming mayor two years ago, Kondritz starting doing some research into the airport to see how many planes use it in a year. IDOT told him about 5,400, but after talking to residents who have lived and worked around the airport for years, they told the mayor they hardly see any planes take off or land. Kondritz says maybe the city needed an airport 20 years ago, but now he says it doesn’t because it’s not used. The airport board’s annual report is due the first Monday in May. The mayor told some of the board members in attendance at Monday’s meeting that he wants a detailed report as to what has been going on at the airport over the last year and whether or not the airport is needed.