Your city council should put together a proposal in a letter to your Congressmen of why air service is needed.
The Department of Transportation has a program called Essential Air Service where an airline is guaranteed a certain dollar amount. Check with the Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation, Washington DC for all the particulars.
your town has to contribute on some level to the social good of the country, or else airlines will not service you because nobody wants to go there.
Well since there is an airline flying only 50 miles away that is not going to help. Your town must not qualify for The Department of Transportation program called Essential Air Service. Airlines will only fly to places where they will make money, so obviously you town does not have that many people traveling out of it, and no airline thinks they can make money flying there, It is as simple as that.
where do you live ( answer in the add details box)