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City council votes to spend up to $150,000 in taxpayer money for airport study

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte City Council members voted unanimously Monday night to spend up to $150,000 in taxpayer money on a study, to determine who should run Charlotte-Douglas Airport.

In recent weeks, lawmakers in Raleigh have voiced support for a Charlotte-Douglas Airport Authority. The state run authority would take power away from the city. The council-mandated study would cost anywhere between $30,000 and $150,000.

“Why would they do a study to see who’s going to run the airport? That’s wasting money,” said taxpayer Thomas Reese.

Several council members have said that state lawmakers have threatened to take control of the airport. Some have even pointed fingers at Governor Pat McCrory, though he says the push is not coming from him, but people inside the Queen City.

“I want to try and slow down any legislation regarding the airport and get the Charlotte business leaders to have conversations with the Charlotte political leaders like we used to do in the old days,” McCrory said Monday.

During Monday’s meeting, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said he’s waiting on McCrory’s “old days.”

“Whoever they are, those business leaders are claiming to speak for other segments of the business community,” Foxx said.

The study is expected to be finished no later than May 15th. That date has some council members concerned, because lawmakers may vote to create an authority before the study is complete.

The city will move ahead with the study, and hire an independent firm in the coming days.

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