A survey taken by the city to gauge public interest in a downtown baseball stadium was the subject of closed-door session at City Hall Monday.
City Council retreated at 1 p.m. into executive session, under a vague notice of "subject to negotiation."
The subject of the meeting, said City Attorney Chris Melcher was the 50-question city-sponsored community survey taken in May, asking residents if they would support a downtown baseball stadium.
Melcher said the results have been kept secret because it's possible they could be used to negotiate a deal with the Sky Sox baseball owner Dave Elmore, who also owns the existing stadium at Tutt Boulevard and Barnes Road. For example, one of the questions asked was how much a person would be willing to pay for a game ticket.
Earlier this year, a small group of civic leaders, attorneys and developers quietly put together an application seeking $82 million in state sales tax rebates that, if approved, would be the seed money to start construction on the four tourism projects that they say will attract out-of-state tourists and boost local sales tax revenues. One of the four proposed projects in the City for Champions proposal is a downtown baseball stadium, which has been discussed as the future home of the Sky Sox minor league baseball team. At the same time the city was preparing the state application, it launched a survey asking the public for its opinion on a downtown ballpark. About 2,000 people answered the survey.
But the results never were released or included in the city's application for state money, which was sent to the state in July.
Earlier this month, council member Joel Miller asked that the survey results be released to council.
The city had refused a Gazette request, made under the Colorado Open Records Act, for the survey results saying the information was considered a "work product" and may be used to develop aspects of the City for Champions project.
Council was behind closed doors for more than an hour. Miller objected to the closed meeting, saying the survey results did not rise to the level of items that council could consider in executive session, "especially based on the fact that public money was used to obtain the data," he said.