RALEIGH Lingering questions about outstanding debt have delayed a vote on transferring Charlotte/Douglas International Airport from the city to an independent authority.
Sen. Bob Rucho said he was pulling the bill from Wednesdays Senate calendar to await a legal opinion from a bond counsel. He said he expects to reschedule the bill for March 13.
The questions involve the fate of more than $800 million in outstanding bond debt. Some have speculated that the bonds may have to be re-issued in a costly, time-consuming process. Rucho said any questions will be resolved with the opinion of a bond counsel.
By that time all the misinformation and uncertainty that has been distributed by opponents will be clarified, he said moments before the Senate convened.
The state Treasurers office Tuesday said it would be mid-March before it can offer an opinion on the bond debt. Rucho declined to identify his bond expert, only to say it is a top-notch counsel.
The bill, opposed by Mayor Anthony Foxx and the city council, has flown through two Senate committees. A Senate vote would send it to the House, where leaders have pledged to slow it down.
This week the city council voted to launch a study of the issue.
City council member Andy Dulin, who has been lobbying against the airport transfer, said the delay means that Charlotte lives to fight another day to save our airport.