G.J. Rockies paying JUCO directly
Having a minor league baseball team in town is paying off for the Junior College World Series.
Payments from the Grand Junction Rockies baseball team that were going to the city will now be directly given to the tournament.
When the team was negotiating with the city, they drew up a contract where the minor league baseball team would pay the city $25,000 a year.
That money would then be given to the Junior College World Series, but last night city council members voted to change that.
Grand Junction City Councilman, Sam Susuras, says, “We're eliminating the middle man and the money is going to where it was intended to go to begin with."
When the City of Grand Junction was recruiting minor league baseball to the valley, it stuck a deal.
"The Grand Junction Rockies, they agreed to pay $25,000 ," Susuras said.
That money was to be paid to the city annually and then given to the local baseball association.
"The previous city manager did this with the intent that it would run through the city, we would control, it and we would send it directly then to where it should go," Susuras said.
That plan puts the city in a bad situation with its bond holders.
"If the city took the $25,000 as income to the city, then it would actually take us over the 3% income,” Susuras said. “Then our bond holders would actually be reliable to pay taxes on their interest."
The city council voted unanimously to make adjustments to the G.J. Rockies’ contract.
"Last night we changed that by amending the resolution so the money now will go directly from the Grand Junction Rockies to the baseball association here in Grand Junction," Susuras said.
The Grand Junction Area Chamber is involved with JUCO.
Its director says this money will help.
"My understanding is these funds are going to be used to help pay for the improvements that we're all seeing the benefits of," Diane Schwenke, with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, said.
The annual payments are negotiated for 15 years and worth $375,000.
The first payment will go directly to the baseball association.