/ Modified feb 2, 2017 7 p.m.

Court Stops Pima County Contract with World View Balloon Company

Judge found the lease didn't satisfy state law; county borrowed $15 million to build it.

World View launch hero A March 2015 launch of a NASA-funded World View balloon flight to carry experiments to a near-space environment.
World View via NASA

A Pima County Superior Court judge Thursday tossed out the county’s contract with a high-altitude balloon launch company, saying the county did not meet state law in funding it.

Construction on the $15 million facility is underway south of Tucson International Airport.

But Judge Catherine Woods ruled that the county failed to get the building appraised, hold a public auction and lease it to the highest bidder.

The contract offered a lease with the private space tourism company, which the county said met state economic development laws meant to encourage investment and attract business.

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry got the Board of Supervisors to approve borrowing construction money, calling it an economic development move. Huckelberry said it would help start an aerospace development area near the airport.

The Goldwater Institute of Phoenix sued the county, saying it was violating the state Constitution’s gift clause.

A county spokesman said there would be no comment at this time, and the ruling will be discussed in closed session at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona