BENSON — Benson City Council approved a 3.5 cent-per-gallon jet fuel tax at Monday’s regularly scheduled council meeting.

The fuel tax, which will be effective Feb. 1, is to be used specifically for improvements at Benson Municipal Airport.

“I think it’s important that we do something productive for the airport,” councilmember Toney King said prior to the vote. “We’ve talked about the airport for a long time ... let’s support the fuel tax and put the money back in the airport.”

Mayor Joe Konrad explained that the 3.5 cents is a fixed amount and does not represent a percentage.

Further discussion revolved around the importance of keeping the airport fuel sales competitive, which is something the city will be following.

“You’re not setting the selling price,” City Manager Vicki Vivian said. “You’re just telling us if we’re going to charge a tax.”

The end-selling price for fuel at the airport would be decided after researching jet fuel prices across Cochise County in order to keep fuel prices competitive, Vivian noted.

In other business, council approved an additional day off for its staff on Christmas and New Year’s Day, as both holidays fall on Saturday this year. The two days off will be Dec. 23 and Dec. 30.

The council also approved the execution of a contract with Kittle Design and Construction to conduct interior remodeling work on a modular building that will be housing city hall once the project is completed. The $327,000 would cover all reconstruction on the inside of the building.

The building, which was acquired from Fort Huachuca for $10,000, is valued at $500,000 after the building had been used as a veterinary hospital for one year. Plans are to work on the exterior of the building at a later date.

The next council meeting is 7 p.m., Dec. 13.