At their first meeting of 2015, the Lubbock City Council authorized a resolution allowing the city to purchase an off-airport parking facility for the Lubbock Preston Smith Airport.

The council voted in favor of the resolution 6-0 - with councilman Victor Hernandez absent - which authorizes the purchase of Airport Shelter Park from its owner Art Rousseau for $780,000. One citizen spoke against the city purchasing private businesses citing unethical business practices. Executive Director of Aviation Kelly Campbell made the distinction that Rousseau approached Lubbock to buy the property and that other privately owned long-term covered-parking facilities exist by Preston Smith.

Although the airport is owned by the city, it is self-funded per federal regulations. City Manager James Loomis said non-aeronautical revenue is crucial to maintain Preston Smith, which serves as a regional hub for travel.

In my opinion, approving this tonight would be the most important thing for this facility that any council could do.”

Mayor Robertson said an additional $250,000 will be used to renovate the facility from available funds at no additional cost to the tax payer. The $1 million investment is expected to repay itself within three years.

The additional $250-300 thousand in revenue the property is expected to bring in could translate to one quarter of one cent of property taxes, said Mayor Robertson.