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UPDATE: City releases Baseball Stadium financing documents

City Council today voted to waive their attorney-client privilege and share with the city manager and the general public a report related to the sale of bonds for the ballpark. Click HERE to view the entire report.

With a separate vote, Council also approved releasing documents related to the city soliciting requests for qualifications for a financial adviser.

In a news release, the city said the release of the release of the report would be , “Placing a strong emphasis on accountability, transparency and sound fiscal responsibility…”

The privileged documents released are a report by Norton Rose Fulbright on the baseball stadium financing. The other documents relate to the solicitation for requests for qualifications for a financial adviser. A written report on the solicitation for requests for qualifications for a financial adviser will be provided to council on Wednesday, December 2.

Bonds financing the ballpark were sold in August 2013. The long-term debt was based on an interest rate that was higher than originally estimated resulting in the City borrowing about $20 million more than originally anticipated for the stadium.

Snapshot

  • November 2012: Voters approve funding sources for ballpark.
  • May 2013: Council approves issuing bonds to finance ballpark.
  • August 2013: Ballpark bonds sold, council formally notified that long-term debt for ballpark would cost millions of dollars more to pay off than originally anticipated.
  • May 2014: Tommy Gonzalez appointed city manager.
  • June/July 2014: Council members share concerns with Gonzalez about the city’s finances, including the $7.5 million deficit, the $9 million reduction to the fund balance, and the ballpark financing costing millions of dollars more than originally anticipated.
  • August 2014: Pursuant to council concerns, City Manager authorizes solicitation for requests for qualifications for a financial adviser.
  • April 2015: City issues request for qualifications for a financial adviser.
  • September 2015: City Manager halts the solicitation for requests for qualifications for a financial adviser upon receiving a verbal report from legal on ballpark financing.
  • November 2015: City Attorney sends city manager an email supporting the report findings.

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One comment

  1. john.dungan@aol.com'

    Why in the world should or would these documents have been “privileged?” Aren’t we, the taxpayers, the “City of El Paso?” Should we not be entitled to a complete and full disclosure of anything to do with crap we pay for?

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