City Council buys buildings for new City Hall after heated discussion over alleged name-calling in emails

City manager, city rep. accused of saying City Rep. Lilly has beginnings of dementia

EL PASO, Texas - (Nov. 2012 story)

City Council has made the final move to buy two Downtown buildings that will replace the current City Hall -  where a baseball stadium will go.

But the vote didn't come before some harsh words from critics.

Opponents, critical of the process to build a baseball stadium and who feel that the public hasn't been part of the decision making, lashed out at the City.

And they focused on recently obtained City emails.

"Miss Lilly, the things they say about you... They said they think Miss Lilly has dementia," Stephanie Townsend Allala said when addressing City Council on Tuesday.

"I did not! I did not say that!" City Rep. Cortney Niland said. "I absolutely didn't say that ma'am and you cannot stand here and promote lies."

Allala responded with "It's at Everybody can see it."

ABC-7 did look at the email Townsend Allala is referring to and it's a short conversation between Niland and City Manager Joyce Wilson. Niland emailed Wilson, saying someone is narrow minded.

Wilson responded to Niland's email, saying that Lilly and an unnamed man may have the beginnings of dementia.

City Council hopes that by the 2014 Pacific Coast League baseball season, City Hall will be gone and there will be a new ballpark in its place, much to the disappointment of baseball stadium opponents.

Tuesday City Council approved buying two buildings to relocate City Hall and they actually negotiated a lower price.

The City will buy the El Paso Times building for $9.4 million. That's significantly less than the original $14 million asking price and the $10.3 million appraisal.

They also approved buying the building at 801 and 811 Texas Ave. for $2.3 million.

And they also have to renovate a third building. The Luther Building, which Paul Foster donated to the City.

That could cost about $13 million. City Council approved using $8 million of unused but previously approved certificates of obligation to pay for some of the renovation at the Luther Building.

(Nov. 2012 story)

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