Amarillo’s city council and economic development corporation are facing a lawsuit that could halt the construction of a multimillion-dollar ballpark downtown.
The petition for injunction, filed Tuesday by Amarillo taxpayer Claudette Smith, alleges that the City of Amarillo and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation engaged in an unlawful land swap with a Coca-Cola subsidiary for the ballpark acreage, stating that state law requires the transaction be approved by voters.
“It is imperative that the court immediately and temporarily restrain the City and the AEDC from proceeding in any way in furtherance of the project,” said Smith. “If not, it will cause immediate and irreparable harm that will be suffered by myself and other voters of Amarillo.”
Smith argues that she and other taxpayers should have the right to vote on the land swap.
Supporters of the project, however, argue that the city satisfied the election requirement in 2015 when voters approved the construction of a $32 million ballpark that broke ground earlier this year. The election, however, was non-binding and did not mention the actual land swap or the final cost of the stadium.
Smith is also a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against Mayor Ginger Nelson and other city council members for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act. A Go Fund Me account, titled “Stealing Home: Help Strike Them Out,” was created earlier this year to help with the legal costs associated with the petition and lawsuit.
According to reports, the ballpark is just one part of a multi-phase effort by Amarillo City Council to “redevelop downtown.”
This story was originally reported by The Amarillo Pioneer.