Wednesday, December 22, 2010

City Council approves Victory Court EIR contract

On Monday night, another hurdle was cleared with the Oakland City Council voting 6-2 to approve the $750,000 Professional Service Agreement (PSA) with LSA Associates on the the environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed ballpark at Victory Court. Only Nancy Nadel and Ignacio De La Fuente opposed, which was no surprise given their opposition during the CCCEDA meeting last Tuesday. For his part, De La Fuente prefers to wait on an official commitment from Major League Baseball, and while City Council President Jane Brunner showed empathy to De La Fuente's concerns, she stated that such a passive approach simply would not be in the City's best interest. "If we did not do this, we would be out of the game tomorrow," she said. Ross Retzler, one of the public speakers, also summed it up nicely: a yes vote on the EIR funding "will send a message to Major League Baseball," he said.

Cheers reverberated around the Council chambers at the conclusion of the voting, with Brunner officially announcing the approval. It was by far the loudest emotional outburst for any of the items on the meeting's agenda. The rousing ovation was followed by robust "Let's Go Oakland" chants.

To recap: the City Council voted to authorize up to $750,000 to spend on an EIR, but with two provisions (resulting from the previous meeting):
  • The contract between the City of Oakland and LSA Associates is subject to termination at any time, without the City being on the hook for the balance, and;
  • Conservative spending on "tangible certainties."

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