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      Council approves loan for Bull Street ballpark

      Design sketch of the proposed baseball park.

      COLUMBIA (WACH)-Columbia City Council has taken a final vote on a loan to build a baseball park at its Bull Street site.

      In a four to one vote, a new ordinance will allow the city to issue Special Obligation Bonds to raise no more than $35 million to pay for the construction of the multi-use entertainment venue and facilities, equipment and improvements at the Bull Street development.

      According to the ordiance, $29 million of the cost will come from public funds.

      Hardball Capital, LLC, is expected to contribute the remaining $6 million. The proposed owner and operator of the minor league baseball team ??Hardball??, would play its home games in the ballpark by the 2016 season.

      According to Councilman Moe Baddourah, the only "no" vote to the ordinance, in the contract agreement, "every week the development is behind the deadline, taxpayers must pay $50,000 to Hardball Capital, LLC."

      "I think the city is going to have a major challenge in the next 3 to 5 years," says Baddourah, projects will stop happening."