SOUTH BURLINGTON – Real estate developer Ernie Pomerleau has withdrawn his support of the plan to base military F-35 jets at the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington after finally hearing one of the jets take off in person. Witnesses report that he looked “crestfallen” as his hands flew to cover his ears and the ground shook beneath him.
“Wow, those things are f***ing loud!” Pomerleau screamed as the jets roared past him on the runway. “They told me they would be pretty quiet, but actually, nope, I think I have permanent hearing loss already. How do we stop this?”
This attitude represents a major shift in thinking for Pomerleau, who has been buying ads all over the area, asking residents to vote no on the confusing ballot item that asks residents to vote “yes” if they don’t want the jets, and “no” if they do want them. But now the business mogul is purchasing new ads in the hopes of keeping the jets away from his sensitive ears.
Pomerleau’s latest Front Porch Forum ad lays out his new plan, which includes:
- Cancellation of the F-35s, replaced with equipment that is no louder than ordinary commercial jets and that has a high safety record suitable for basing in a densely populated city.
- Changing the zoning from residential to commercial for the strip of 44 acres of commercially valuable land facing the airport entrance on which 200 affordable homes once stood, as Burlington purchased and demolished those 200 homes on that commercially valuable land in 2015 with $57 million of federal grants with expectation that the zoning would be changed.
- The revitalization of the airport area, including the addition of hotels, shopping centers, and other commercial or industrial projects on those commercially valuable 44 acres facing the airport entrance.
- A decrease in noise levels in the 1000 affordable South Burlington homes that are in the same noise danger zone as the 200 demolished homes (but not on commercially valuable land), through the decommissioning of the F-16 program.
- Special funding for new initiatives to repair the reading, concentration, and memory skills of South Burlington children who have attended Chamberlin Elementary School during the F-16 program, and who have lost valuable learning time.
- Earmuffs for everyone, just in case.
Image Credits: Milton Independent.