AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Potter County District Court officials have set a date for the bench trial surrounding the lawsuit on the funding mechanism chosen by the Amarillo City Council for the expansion and improvements to the Amarillo Civic Center Complex.

According to documents recently filed in the 320th District Court, the bench trial is expected to begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 4 in Potter County District Court. William Sowder, the visiting judge in Potter County overseeing the lawsuit, is expected to oversee those proceedings.

Officials with the Potter County District Court combined two Civic Center-related lawsuits, one of which was questioning the legality of using $260,525,000 in anticipation notes to fund the project and the other of which was asking for a judge to validate the legality of the use of the notes.

According to previous reports by, Sowder ordered earlier this week that the trial for the funding lawsuit will be in front of a judge and not a jury trial, citing Texas Government Code Chapter 1205 as well as how there are only legal issues to be resolved in this case. Sowder also expanded the discovery process, allowing depositions to be conducted as well as allowing more documents to be uncovered in relation to the case. Some of those documents include:

  • Ordinance 7985, in all drafts and forms, including as presented or proposed prior to the May 24 Regular Meeting and as written afterward;
  • All correspondence, including emails and texts, attaching and/or discussing drafts of Ordinance 7985;
  • All agendas, minutes, Amarillo City Council Agenda Transmittal Memos and public notices for all Amarillo City Council meetings during which the City Council discussed, voted upon, considered or imposed the taxes pledged to the payment of the anticipation notes at issue in the lawsuits;
  • Final report submitted by Garfield Public/Private;
  • All records and documents, including memoranda and work notes showing calculations regarding the calculation of tax rates necessary to satisfy the pledge of ad valorem taxes purportedly made in Ordinance 7985 and the notes.