Milton Reaffirms Its Support For F-35 Basing In South Burlington

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A Chittenden County town has reaffirmed its support for basing F-35 fighter jets in South Burlington.

Town officials in Milton have unanimously re-adopted a 2010 resolution that supports putting the planes at Burlington International Airport.

Milton would not be directly affected by noise from the jets taking off and landing at the airport in South Burlington. At a meeting last month, the Milton Select Board considered noise issues that have been a concern in towns closer to the airport. But board members said they were more worried about losing jobs in the area, including those of many Milton residents.

The vote puts Milton in the minority among Chittenden County city and town governments weighing in on the issue. South Burlington has voted against the plan outright and Burlington and Winooski passed resolutions asking the Air Force for more information.

Milton’s Select Board chairman, Louis Mossey, is a master sergeant in the Air National Guard, but he said at the meeting that his employment didn’t require him to abstain on the vote. Mossey said his current and future employment won’t be affected by the F-35 basing, and he felt this was a vote on behalf of residents of Milton. The measure passed, 5-0.

It’s unclear whether public opinion will sway the Pentagon’s decision, but the Shumlin administration says it’s working to answer outstanding questions about the Air Force’s plan.

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