Update (10:20 a.m. Dec. 2)
According to court documents filed on Dec. 1 in Potter County District Court, the deadline for retired Judge William Sowder to file his “findings of fact and conclusions of law” has been extended to Dec. 14.
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to documents filed Wednesday afternoon in the 320th Judicial District Court in Potter County, retired Judge William Sowder denied the respective motions to modify from both the city of Amarillo and Amarillo Businessman Alex Fairly in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex funding-related lawsuit.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Sowder brought down the ruling in the lawsuit on Oct. 25, stating that the city of Amarillo could not use $260 million in tax notes to fund an expansion and renovation project for the Amarillo Civic Center Complex. Sowder also ruled that the city violated the Texas Open Meetings Act in multiple instances and violated portions of the Texas Government Code and the Texas Tax Code.
As part of the initial motions to modify the final judgment, the city of Amarillo’s legal team argued against each specific point of the judgment, ultimately reiterating the city’s feeling that the tax notes were a legal and valid avenue to fund the overall expansion project. According to previous reports, the city also challenged the portions of the ruling surrounding the Texas Open Meetings Act and the Civic Center’s status as a public work, arguing that the expanded facility would be used in the same manner as the current facility is used now.
Sowder also denied Fairly’s team’s motion to modify the final judgment, a request for Sowder to include a ruling on a subject he did not touch on in the final judgment. According to previous reports, Fairly’s team claimed that Ordinance 7985, the ordinance surrounding the tax notes themselves for the expansion project, did not impose a tax to ultimately secure the tax notes.
Sowder is still expected to release an order which would include his factual findings and conclusions in his final judgment. Both the city of Amarillo and Alex Fairly have filed respective notices of appealing the initial judgment, but no official appeal has yet been made in the Seventh Court of Appeals.
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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