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Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 9:42pm
The City of El Paso hit a home run in Austin on Wednesday, after a district court judge gave them the green light to proceed with plans to build a Triple-A baseball stadium.
City leaders can move forward with tearing down City Hall and start building the ballpark. They’re now also allowed to begin issuing bonds to finance construction of the $50 million stadium.
“We have an architect on board now we have a lot of contractors, who are doing preliminary site work. Whatever expenditures we’ve made thus far we’ve just sort of been borrowing from our reserve and we’ll replace it as soon as we issue the debt,” said City Manager, Joyce Wilson.
Wilson encourages opponents to accept that the winds of change are blowing through El Paso.
“Hopefully, those who have opposed the project, will embrace that the project is going to move on, that the voters did vote, that they had their due process in court, and that the City and the citizens prevailed," said Wilson.
But opponents still aren’t convinced. David Cooper was born and raised in El Paso, and lived in the Borderland for over 30 years. He’s owned several businesses here and says City Council’s lack of transparency isn’t uncommon when it comes to new projects for El Paso.
“I certainly am not opposed to the increase of the quality of life in El Paso, Texas. I do visit from time to time. What I am opposed to is the way that these types of programs and the way that the way that these sorts of improvements to the quality of life are hoisted upon the people there,” said Cooper.
We asked our Local4 Facebook fans what they think of the City’s court victory.
Carlos Chacon said, “I wasn’t so thrilled about the baseball stadium being built but hey… something’s better than nothing plus more jobs for the people here. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Jessica Renee Dominguez said, “This baseball fan is excited!!!”
And Tim Blodgett said, “Just like anything else in this City, the City government gets their way.”
“The bottom line is they backed these citizens into a corner and people didn’t ramp up fast enough and didn’t lawyer up good enough to be able to stop this thing,” said Cooper.
So how does the opposition move forward from here?
David Cooper said, "There’s absolutely no question they should make the best of it, and hope to God that this team can sell a lot of tickets and it really can help revitalize the Downtown area and it would be fantastic if in fact it does.”