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Branson board votes to pay full airport bill

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At its June 14 meeting, the Branson Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 to amend the 2011 budget to pay the Branson Airport the city's full bill of $327,770 for passengers deplaning at the airport July-December.

Branson's 2011 budget previously appropriated $35,000 for payment to the airport, but with the passing of the amendment yesterday, the city will dip into its reserve account to cover the full amount, according to a news release from the city of Branson.

The payment represents passengers deplaning at the airport from July to December 2010.

Concerns were raised by Branson city officials following an April 12 forbearance and funding agreement between Branson Airport LLC and bond trustee UMB Bank.

In some cases, officials felt the Branson Airport was not fully disclosing its financials to the city.

“The city should be granted the right to review all the financials to see if the airport is even going to be there to receive the check, if you will,” Branson Board Alderman Mike Booth said in a May Springfield Business Journal article. “The action of the airport in the past has been to make very public the bill that it presents to the city, which has been paid in every single case. But when people ask about its financial position, it seems it doesn’t have to reveal its finances to the citizens, who are, in fact, paying them money.”

Two aldermen who voted against the airport appropriation during the June 14 meeting, Rick Davis and Bob Simmons, said the contract between the city and the airport is flawed and that they were uncomfortable shifting funds from the city's reserve fund, according to the release.[[In-content Ad]]

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