Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that the city of Amarillo filed an appeal notice in the lawsuit. The city has not yet filed an official appeal in the case.

Update (12:18 p.m.)

According to the notice of accelerated appeal filed Thursday morning in Potter County District Court, the city of Amarillo’s legal team stated in the documents that they desire “to appeal the Court’s Final Judgment, signed on October 25, 2022 by the Honorable William C. Sowder…”

According to the documents, the city’s legal team would appeal this case to the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo.

MyHighPlains.com has reached out to Amarillo Businessman Alex Fairly for comment on this appeal notice. This story will be updated if he responds to the request for comment.

Original Story:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the city of Amarillo announced that it will be filing an appeal notice after the final judgment was made late last month in the Amarillo Civic Center lawsuit.

According to a news release from the city of Amarillo, officials said the filing “preserves (the city’s) ability to proceed with the appeal process.” This comes after retired Judge William Sowder ruled in late October that the city of Amarillo could not use $260 million in anticipation notes to fund the expansion and renovation of the Amarillo Civic Center Complex and that the related funding ordinance is invalid and void.

In the release, Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson said this appeal notice is about clarifying conflicts that the ruling has with state law, and not necessarily about the Civic Center project itself.

“I think we all recognize that, with rising construction costs and the significant interest rate increases since May, the window to complete the Civic Center project as currently proposed has closed,” Nelson said in the release. “The lawsuit was successful for the opposing party in that it created a delay to the point where the project isn’t feasible for the amount of money we authorized. While we can’t proceed with the project at this time, this ruling creates confusion around several standard operating procedures and will interfere with the city’s ability to operate in the normal course of business. We are seeking clarification on existing state law. We have a responsibility to clarify how debt can be issued going forward because, like every city in Texas, the city council will have to continue to issue debt to operate the city. As for the Civic Center problem, it isn’t going away.”

This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.

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