October 03. 2008 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 2:57PM

Walker says Chicago's Midway deal could be model for Milwaukee


County Executive Scott Walker said his proposal to prepare for a bid to lease the operations of General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) has been bolstered by a similar deal reached for Chicago's Midway International Airport this week.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced this week that his city has received a winning bid of $2.5 billion for a long-term lease of Midway.
"The Midway deal shows the merits of leasing airport operations," Walker said. "Milwaukee can benefit from their example and generate necessary revenue on a smaller scale."
Walker said the principle behind leasing is to secure more efficient operations while making government more financially sound. Contracting out the airport operations would provide a steady, long-term revenue stream to the county, Walker said.
The funds from an airport lease could be designated to support and improve transit as an alternative to increasing either property or sales taxes, he said.
Walker is proposing to use $500,000 from airport revenues to study the lease option.