Civic Center Lawsuit Filed

A lawsuit has been filed to halt the Civic Center improvement effort.

 Amarillo businessman Alex Fairly issued a statement yesterday saying he’s filed a lawsuit trying to put the project on hold.

On May 24, the Amarillo City Council voted to move forward with the Civic Center upgrades without notice to taxpayers as to the terms of the debt and the taxes that would be charged to pay for it.

The suit targets the passage of a $260 million plan to add an arena, rehabilitate the existing center and restore the historic Santa Fe Depot.

This comes after voters rejected a $275 million plan.

The lawsuit claims, that city councilors said, “Even though Proposition A failed, the needs at City Hall and the Civic Center still exist[s].”

“Going against the wishes of the voters isn’t the only mistake the Amarillo City Council made when they approved the issuance of more than a quarter-billion dollars in debt on May 24,” stated Alex Fairly in his lawsuit. “Multiple attorneys who we engaged believe the four members of the council who voted for the debt issuance may have violated both the spirit and letter of Texas law regarding the issuance of this debt which is why I have filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to pause the project, as well as challenging the legality of the city council’s action.”

The suit asks for a temporary injunction preventing issuing debt for the project and requiring public input on a possible tax increase.

Council members who support the plan say they hope private partners will help pay the cost through actions like selling naming rights.

More about: