Barrie councillors are close to relieving the city of most of its shares in the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport.

"The City of Barrie, in the view of our staff, with all of the capital pressures affecting the city, sort of welcomes the opportunity for Simcoe to make that investment. And the way that would work is the County would take on a greater share of ownership," explained Mayor Jeff Lehman.

The Oro-Medonte airport is planning an expansion with a $40 million price tag. The mayor says the city's budget just doesn't have room for the airport's upgrades.

Barrie currently owns 60 percent of the airport with the County and Oro-Medonte owning 20 percent each.

If approved, the city will sell 50 percent of its shares to the County for nearly $4 million, making the County the majority shareholder, and financially responsible for the bulk of the airport's expansion plans.

The County said the acquisition of the shares would be a funding source for the airport's expansion, which includes several upgrades, including expanding the runway.

The Township of Oro-Medonte has yet to comment on its plans for the airport.

The proposed shareholder shuffling will need to be ratified on June 17.