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After F-35 resolution Mayor still has concerns over project

MADISON (WKOW) — After Madison’s City Council passed a resolution to reconsider placing F-35 jets at Truax Field, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is still skeptical of what the final product would look like.

The final resolution asks the Air Force to provide additional information on the environmental impact statement which shows homes near the base could be “incompatible.” If the Air Force does not provide that information on the impacts, the resolution asks to pick another location for the F-35 jets. 

The resolution now goes to the Air Force as an official public comment on behalf of the council.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway said after Wednesday morning’s vote, she still has concerns about the project. She said there are too many interpretations about impacts of the F-35 jets, like the noise they would produce, and wants more details before opposing or supporting the entire plan.

“I think we are sending a clear message of how concerned we are as a city about the potential impacts of this project but we really need more and better information,” said Rhodes-Conway.

Zach Brandon from the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has advocated for bringing the jets to Dane County for months. He said he was pleased the council’s final resolution didn’t completely oppose the project.

“The council was considerate of the different options, the prevailing idea is that you need data and better data of these maps,” said Brandon.

Rhodes-Conway also expressed support for Congressman Mark Pocan’s (D-WI) request to the Air Force to test fly F-16 and F-35 jets over neighborhoods near Truax Field and compare the sounds levels.

Pocan asked for the test to be completed by the September 27th, the same deadline for public comments on the Air Force environmental impact study.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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