The Biddeford City Council voted Tuesday to move forward with safety improvements at the municipal airport, ending a six-year stalemate over the fate of the city-owned property.

While the council supported accepting federal and state funding to pay for the majority of the work needed at the airport, it soundly rejected a proposal to spend $27,000 to study the economic impact of the facility. That vote prompted City Councilor Brad Cote, who had pushed for the study, to resign and leave the meeting.

“The council keeps making major financial decisions without basis in fact,” said Cote, who was in his third year on the council. “It’s frustrating.”

But other city councilors said there is no need to study Biddeford Municipal Airport, which has long been a source of contention in the city. In 2008, voters rejected a proposal to close it. In the years since then, the Federal Aviation Administration has put the city on notice that it must address safety issues.

Supporters say the city has an obligation to maintain the airport because it supports economic development in the region. Opponents raise concerns about the airport’s location near neighborhoods and the conditions that come with federal money for improvement projects.

The FAA has notified the city that it must act because trees have grown up around the runway, forcing some pilots to land and take off at unsafe angles.

The City Council voted Tuesday to authorize the city manager to accept more than $866,000 from the FAA and about $48,000 from the Maine Department of Transportation to pay to trim or remove trees that the FAA has said are an obstruction. The city would contribute $48,000, which is 5 percent of the project’s total cost.

In addition to trimming or removing trees, the overall cost estimate includes $125,000 to acquire a 42-acre parcel from the New England Electric Railway that will allow the city to construct a safety area near the runway.

Councilors Cote and Clement Fleurent cast the only votes in opposition to the safety projects.

The council showed a deeper split over whether to spend $27,000 to study the airport. Councilors Cote, Fleurent and Michael Ready supported that order, which needed a two-third majority to pass.

Though about 40 people attended the meeting, including pilots who use the airport, none spoke for or against the project or the impact study.

The municipal airport, built on Landry Street in the 1930s, includes a 3,011-foot runway and 30 private hangars. About 40 planes are based at the airport, which has no control tower. The Biddeford airport is one of 36 public airports in Maine.

There are about 6,000 flights each year at the airport, according to data collected by the Department of Transportation. The airport is used primarily by local pilots flying for business and pleasure.

Fleurent, who has lived near the airport for decades, questioned the need to top or remove trees from neighboring properties. He said the airport is safe and he is concerned about the impact the tree cutting would have on residents who live near the approach zone.

Rick Laverriere, chairman of the Airport Commission and a former city councilor, praised the council for finally taking action on the safety projects.

“It’s a relief. The airport, although there are a few naysayers, is a gem,” he said. “It is a big asset to the city.”