POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 8:12am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The FAA says 149 federally contracted airport control towers will close starting April 7th due to the budget sequester.
13 of them are in Texas, including the Brownsville-South Padre Island International airport but airport spokesman Michael Jones says that even though federal funding for the control tower will be eliminated the tower will remain fully operational.
"It's far too important for us to have an airport here for us, it's an economic engine for the entire area, one of our flights produces 200 fulltime jobs with $300,000 dollars in sales tax revenues and $20 million in economic impact to the entire area, we have a dozen flights so we are not going to close the tower, we are not going to close the airport." said Jones.
Jones says in order to keep the tower open it may have to be paid for by the City of Brownsville.
"The cost of the tower is going to be to the citizens of Brownsville $40,000-$50,000 per month, in the big picture that's a small amount of money considering the entire community and entire area." said Jones.
Brownsville city manager Charlie Cabler says the city council will vote at next Tuesday's city council meeting whether to approve an agreement for the city to pay monthly installments for the tower.
Cabler says the cost will be around $44,000 dollars a month.
Taxpayers in Brownsville have their own opinions about the city possibly footing for the bill for the tower.
"I don't think it is fair, that’s supposed to be funded by the government why should we be paying for it" said one Brownsville resident.
"I don't think it’s a good idea, it should be government funded I don't think we should be paying for that." said another Brownsville resident.