Winooski Officially Weighs In On F-35 Debate

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Winooski’s City Council has officially weighed in on the proposal to base F-35 fighter jets at the Air National Guard Base at the Burlington airport.

The council says noise is the defining issue for Winooski, and it will oppose any activity that causes a harmful increase in noise.

For weeks, city officials have asked the Guard and the Air Force to explain how much noise will increase in low-income and minority neighborhoods. The city says the military needs to detail how property values and the qualify of life would be affected.

The council filed a resolution on the issue with the Air Force as part of its environmental impact study, and councilors say the F-35 has divided the city.

"The overwhelming number of public statements demonstrates citizens’ desires to stop the deployment," the Council said. "Privately, we have heard from many people who support the proposed deployment. It is also clear that most citizens of Winooski recognize the service of the Guard to our community and state."

Last week, Adjutant General Michael Dubie spoke candidly in defense of the F-35 program. He apologized for any miscommunication and asked the community to step back and avoid jumping to conclusions.

Now, the council wants the Air Force’s final environmental impact statement to provide more facts that can help the city determine the impacts of the jets on their community.

The Air Force is expected to make its decision about where to base the jets in November.

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