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City Council to vote on updated ballpark budget

Published On: Oct 15 2013 12:05:01 AM CDT
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 05:05:47 PM CST

Reporter: Collin Carroll

EL PASO, Texas -

City Council is scheduled to vote tomorrow on an updated budget proposal for the downtown ballpark, which would bring the total project cost to $72 million.

More than 90 percent of subcontracting bids are close to being finalized, giving Council a much clearer picture of exactly how much everything will cost.

"There's a lot that's confusing, because it's a very complex issue," said Deputy City Manager Bill Studer.

Ballpark-specific construction would total $60.6 million. The city would be on the hook for $52.5 million of that, with the team putting up about $8.1 million in a letter of credit, Studer said.

Total project costs, including construction, city hall demolition, architect fees, railroad platforms and a bridge, testing and surrounding improvements, would reach $72 million.

"The city's expenses are capped at $64 million, no matter what the total project ends up costing," Studer said.

If Council doesn't approve the budget, the city and developers would have to reduce the scope of the project to within the current total project budget, which is $64 million, Studer said.

"It will be considerably more ballpark than what the city could build on it's funding alone," Studer said. "And it's because the team wants to have a ballpark that's one of the best, if not the best, in minor league baseball."

Of top concern is having the park ready for opening day in April 2014, Studer said. Council meets tomorrow at city hall at 8:30 a.m.

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