Time is ticking down on the controversial airport authority bill and a taxpayer-funded lawsuit could be right around the corner.
Eyewitness News learned that city council members are scheduled for closed session Monday night and are expected to talk about their legal options.
"The problem is the losers are the citizens and the taxpayers," council member Andy Dulin said. "Any legal costs are going to have to be on their shoulders too and that's too bad."
Dulin said the clock may be running out on legislation, but if and when the bill giving control of Charlotte Douglas Airport to a regional authority becomes law, "the clock will be reset" and "then we'll move on to overtime."
He believes a lawsuit would protect the airport from potential chaos behind the scenes in switching over control to a new regional authority.
State lawmakers said switching to an authority wouldn't cause problems and the latest version of the bill has more details on transitioning.
Taxpayers were split over the cost.
"I don't mind them suing to try to control something that's already ours," Terence Hunter said.
"We have other things that our tax money can go towards," Aaron Thornton argued.
Eyewitness looked at some similar cases. In Asheville, the city sued the state over legislation transferring the city's water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County.
City officials said Asheville has spent more than $60,000 just to get a temporary halt, known as a temporary restraining order, until Aug. 6. On that date, the city will argue for a preliminary injunction in the Wake County Superior Court.
In Michigan, the Wayne County Commission sued over the creation of an airport authority. The lawsuit failed after the Commission went through the state Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Representative Bill Brawley expects a lawsuit.
"I think that's been their strategy all along," he said. "They've never wanted to compromise on this."
But Monday afternoon, Eyewitness News learned of talks between the state, city and other parties, and a delay of the final House vote until Tuesday.
"Charlotte can come to the table before the third reading and we can work this out," he said. "Once it goes to the Senate, I think it's done."
If the bill passes the House on Tuesday morning, it could become law with a vote in the Senate as early as Wednesday.