Plan For High-Altitude Balloon-Launching Facility Continues In Pima County, Despite Legal Challenge

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 9:44am
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 11:15am

A contract to build World View’s high-altitude balloon-launching facility in Pima County will continue as planned, despite challenges claiming the deal illegally used public dollars.

The Arizona Court of Appeals did not disagree with the premise of the lawsuit, but threw out objections because challengers waited too long to sue.

Timothy Sandefur with the Goldwater Institute represents three challengers in the lawsuit.  He plans to point out to a higher court that Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry accepted free services from the architect and contractor before they won the no-bid contracts. 

“Huckleberry hired his cronies because they’d give him freebies and they know people, and so people like you and me we can’t compete — if we were contractors — because we don’t know the right people and we can’t afford to give freebies," said Sandefur.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry claimed the bid needed to move quickly on securing a contractor or risk losing the facility to Florida.

The court found the Goldwater Institute was at fault for failing to file in time. 

And, it refused to decide the merits of the claim because the architect and the contractor already had been paid and the facility is already built.

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