El Paso City Council agrees to use MountainStar's money for additional ballpark construction costs

POSTED: 09:22 AM MST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 04:06 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso City Council on Tuesday approved an inspection contract for the Downtown ballpark and agreed to use MountainStar's money for additional construction costs.

In a 7 to 1 vote, city representatives approved a $399,474 contract with AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure Inc. AMEC will inspect the stadium construction, which is ongoing. The City has committed to completing the ballpark in April for the start of the Triple A season, which is now six months away.

City Rep. Eddie Holguin voted against the contract, saying he was against the stadium from the beginning because the issue did not got to voters.

The Council also approved the mechanism that allows the City to use MountainStar Sports Group's money for overages in the ballpark construction.

City representatives unanimously accepted the terms that allow the private team ownership group to contribute up to $8,145,750 through a line of credit. The additional money will pay for amenities MountainStar wanted for the stadium, including two water structures, additional suite space and more shaded seating.

The line of credit is irreversible, according to City Attorney Sylvia Firth. She said it's "impossible" for MountainStar to change its mind and refuse the City access to the cash.

Firth said the line of credit is already under the City's name which allows the City to access the money from MountainStar's account at anytime.

Holguin voted to support using MountainStar's money despite his opposition to the ballpark.

The ballpark's guaranteed maximum price for construction stands at $52,545,810. The total cost, including non-construction expenditures is about $64 million.

MountainStar will be responsible for any overages above that.