Changes to stadium trust reassure council
BY P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
6/30/09 at 3:41 PM
Changes to a proposed downtown ballpark trust that include expanding the membership and shortening the length of terms appear to satisfy issues expressed by city councilors.
“I think we have something the majority of the councilors can approve,” Councilor Eric Gomez said Tuesday during a council committee meeting discussion.
Mayor Kathy Taylor has proposed a $60 million downtown ballpark project that includes a stadium for the Tulsa Drillers and redevelopment of land surrounding it.
Creation of the Tulsa Stadium Trust is necessary to accept the $30 million in private donations and to oversee the ballpark and redevelopment efforts.
A 30-year downtown property assessment fee will contribute $25 million and the Driller’s lease will add another $5 million.
Although the city and the Double A baseball team have reached a lease agreement “in principle,” the trust will own the ballpark and no lease can be signed until it is created. The city will be the sole beneficiary of the public trust.
Earlier this month, a majority of councilors said they had issues with a trust proposal that included the mayor’s husband, Bill Lobeck, as a trustee, lacked trustees who were downtown property owners, gave donors 12-year terms on the trust, and vaguely described the scope of the trust.
Since the issues were raised, Lobeck has declined the trustee seat.
Prior to Tuesday’s committee meeting, Gomez, said that the ballpark donors initially wanted only a five-member trust, and “I said, 'Guys, are you kidding me? There is no way we can get that done.’ ”
During the meeting, Gomez said all the councilors have had a lot of input on what “should and could be changed” to raise their comfort level about the trust.
For more, see Wednesday's Tulsa World
Register for Email Newsletters: TulsaWorld.com now offers 25 Email Newsletters that can be sent directly to your inbox. Pick from topics and writers from every section, as well as Breaking News Alerts. Already a registered user? Visit the My Account home page or create a new account.