Aces deal up in the air, new city council members want a say

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Updated: 11/15/2012 11:44 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- Last week the outgoing Reno City Council made a very big, very expensive decision to pay $30 million from the city's general fund to the owers of the Aces ballpark over the next three decades. It wasn't a popular decision then, and it doesn't seem to be any more popular with the new members of the city council. 

On November 7, the outgoing council approved the deal with a 4-3 vote. Of the four who supported the agreement, only Reno Mayor Bob Cashell is still a member of the city council, and it's the newly-sworn-in members of the council who will have to deal with the repercussions. 

"They'll be faced the budget considerations that come from that vote of last week," said councilwoman Sharon Zadra. 

As a veteran councilwoman, Zadra voted against the deal last week because she says the $30 million over the next 30 years is needed for critical services.

"I believe that we have other services that we need to provide and other capital improvements that we need to provide that will come from the general fund as well," Zadra said. 

But a University of Nevada Reno report says the Aces bring in more than $20 million a year, so there's a lot to consider. 

"I think what you're asking is what are the risks, and that's what we're really trying to evaluate," Zadra said. 

"I think baseball has been a great thing for downtown," new councilwoman Hillary Schieve said. "But at the same time, we have to look at can we afford it, and using general money this is something we're opposed to doing."

So new members Schieve and Jenny Brekhus want some more time to absorb the information. 

"There's a lot of intricate details in the agreement, and we all have to understand exactly what it is we are looking at," Schieve said. 

"I think it's what the public expects of us," Brekhus said. "I heard a lot of concern for it and it just moved so fast, this deal being put together,"

The new council wants to reconsider the vote, which isn't quite standard protocol.

"We're going to look at all the different agreements," Schieve said. "I think because there are so many different agreements that it can be difficult to wrap your head around."

It may be too late to change things, but they're making sure before giving up. 

"That's what I think we voted on today is giving us an opportunity to step back and assess what can we do," Zadra said. 

The City Attorney's office is looking into whether or not it's legal for the new council to reconsider the baseball agreement. If they're allowed the council members could make some big decisions for the city and the Aces at their next meeting. 

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