By Jackie Stone
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - The city and county are working on a new agreement for the Lampasas Municipal Airport after city officials discovered that their lease for the county's half of the property ran out in 2006.
City Manager Michael Stoldt attended the regular Lampasas County Commissioners Court meeting Monday morning to discuss the airport agreement and a transfer of funds for the Lampasas County Higher Education Center.
Stoldt said he had thought the city owned the property. The confusion over the contract stemmed from language that alternately called the agreement a "sale" and a "lease," he said. It wasn't until they were looking at the contract more closely that they discovered the expiration date.
Stoldt said the city was working on a potential economic development project on airport property when it discovered that a 25-year lease with the county expired in 2006. During the course of the lease, the city was responsible for maintenance at the airport and would have received any profits from the airport.
"The airport is not a money maker," Stoldt said. "Our general fund does not go directly to the airport, but we provide manpower and upkeep."
Stoldt said the question to the county was whether they wanted to create a new lease, forgo their half of the property to the city or begin helping with half of the upkeep costs. Commissioners opted to table the matter pending further information. In the meantime, they discussed setting up an informal committee including city and county representatives to discuss possible solutions that would benefit both sides.
Commissioners also gave their stamp of approval to giving the newly formed Lampasas County Higher Education Center control of half the funds that were collected for it from city and county entities.
The county, city, Lampasas Independent School District and Lampasas Economic Development Corporation each put in $25,000 to help develop the higher education center where students from the high school level to adults can take upper-level coursework on their way to a career or a degree.
The city has been in possession of the $100,000, but plans to transfer $50,000 into the hands of the center after LCHEC's board appointed a chief executive officer last week, Stoldt said.
In other action:
Commissioners approved a resolution in support of seeking pass-through financing for the proposed U.S. Highway 190 reliever route around Copperas Cove.
Commissioners also discussed but took no action on a new telephone service for the county, changes to the rabies and animal control ordinance and closing a portion of County Road 2737.
Contact Jackie Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474. Follow her on Twitter at @KDHcoveeditor.