According to this article in the Branson Daily News, which apparently ran in Saturday’s issue, M. Graham Clark Airport (PLK) was turned over to Taney County by the College of the Ozarks this past July because of the College’s inability to continue funding the airport’s upkeep. The local municipalities have been pledging contributions of funds since the turnover to assist in the County’s efforts. Branson is apparently the biggest contributor, according to the referenced article, due to its initial $10,000 contribution for start-up costs, and pledge of up to $40,000 over the next three years.

The City of Hollister’s Board of Aldermen met last Thursday and voted to make its own contribution in the form of "material support," as City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss called it. Specifically, the assistance Hollister will provide includes free water and sewer service (up to $2,500 per annum), snow removal, maintenance of the water/sewer lines, LEO patrols, and public relations assistance.

Such cooperation amongst municipal and county governing bodies may sometimes seem more the exception than the rule. Frequently motivated by residents’ concerns over noise, traffic, and fiscal responsibility, some local leaders oppose the location of airport facilities within their boundaries. Others recognize the obvious benefits to the local economy (which I would imagine would be especially true with O&D airports near tourist destinations like Branson, Missouri). The tension between these competing interests can make for conflict between various levels of government. So it’s nice to see those various governing bodies affected by the turnover of an airport stepping up to the plate and working together.