/ Modified feb 7, 2017 11:33 a.m.

Pima County Will Appeal Ruling Nixing Its Balloon-Launch Contract

Supervisors vote 3-2 for appeal of ruling involving $15 million in county borrowing.

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

Pima County will appeal a Superior Court judge's ruling that the county violated the state Constitution and state law in its $15 million deal to build and lease a balloon-launching company's headquarters and other facilities.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 along party lines Tusday to authorize the appeal of Judge Catherine Woods, who said the county failed to get the building appraised, hold a public auction and lease it to the highest bidder.

The county has already completed construction on a facility for World View Enterprises south of Tucson International Airport, and the facilities are in use.

The supervisors last year approved borrowing construction money, with County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry calling it an economic development move to help start aerospace development near the airport.

The Goldwater Institute of Phoenix sued the county, saying it was violating the state Constitution’s gift clause and other provisions of how government must do business.

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