About time

Published 6:04 pm Monday, May 28, 2012

Two items on the Washington City Council’s agenda for its meeting today indicate the city is trying to get its finances in better order.

The council is expected to discuss business plans for Warren Field Airport and the city’s docks. City Manager Josh Kay and city staff developed those plans, and that is to their credit. The hope is those business plans for the airport and docks will, at the very least, result in the city breaking even when it comes to the airport and docks, if not bring in more revenue than the city spends on those facilities.

That’s a tall order, but one that is not out of reach.

At least one council member has been waiting for an airport business plan. During the council’s May 14 meeting, Councilman Bobby Roberson talked about the need for an airport business plan.

“(Councilman Doug) Mercer says we haven’t had one out there in 50 years. Maybe we can get one for it. Because we’re losing money, and I tell you we need to stop doing that,” Roberson said then.

There is no doubt the airport and docks are assets the city needs to protect as it does its best to make those assets generate as much revenue as possible for the city. Having the airport and the docks makes the city attractive to different interests.

The debate over whether the city should own the airport and docks will continue. Cases can be made for each part of that debate.

As long as the city owns the airport and docks, implementing and updating business plans for those facilities makes sense. Hopefully, one day, those facilities will make cents, too — along with some dollars.