AUGUSTA — The city has managed and maintained the state-owned Augusta State Airport for many years. Tonight, city councilors meet to discuss whether the city should continue to.

Since 2008, the state has paid the city $550,000 a year to manage the airport, which has commercial flights provided by Cape Air and fixed-base operations including charter flights and services for private pilots provided by Maine Instrument Flight.

To date, the city has been able to run the airport for that amount. But the costs of running the airport have increased, and local officials expect them to continue to escalate.

The state’s proposal for the city to run the airport for the next five years did not increase the $550,000 annual payment to the city, according to City Manager William Bridgeo and John Guimond, manager of the airport.

So instead of inking a new five-year deal, the city and state agreed to a one-year extension of the previous contract.

Bridgeo said the situation has reached the point where city councilors need to discuss whether Augusta can afford to continue running the airport.

“We’ll talk about the finances of the airport, and what the state can afford to do,” Bridgeo said Wednesday. “We’re in the middle of a one-year extension of the contract. We need to talk about how we want to proceed.”

Councilors are also to discuss a proposed citywide energy efficiency initiative that could include alternative energy sources. Bridgeo said the initiative is something he and other city administrators have been working on for several months.

Representatives of New Hampshire-based Revolution Energy are expected to be on hand tonight to present proposals for more efficient ways of heating city buildings.

“We could work with them with the hope of achieving significant savings in our cost of heating buildings, and maybe even looking at co-generation of power involving biomass or solar,” Bridgeo said. “We want them to come before council and present their ideas.”

Councilors meet tonight at 6:30 in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Councilors are also scheduled to discuss:

* a fireworks ordinance, which Fire Chief Roger Audette recommends should include a ban on fireworks;

* new general assistance rates from the state Department of Health and Human Services;

* requiring property owners to perform minimal maintenance on their properties; and

* the fiscal year 2011 year-end report.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]