Conference Centre Update – Relief Coming?
What had been assumed has now been confirmed. Given the default by our Conference Centre Partners, the $100,000 Letter of Credit posted to extend that agreement to March 31, 2010, has now been cashed by the city.
Furthermore, on April 15, a letter demanding payment of $3.045 million within 30 days was sent to our “partners”. This sum represents uncollected fees, costs and expenses foregone on the strength of their promise to perform their obligation to build a hotel to go with the Conference Centre.
This sum represents roughly 4% of annual property tax revenues or, alternatively, roughly 3 years of taxpayer subsidy to the operating costs of the VICC.
We look forward to the city’s announcement of the receipt of these monies which were, in effect, borrowed from the taxpayers of Nanaimo, and to see what will be done with them.
This is very positive action by the City.Good for them!
Does anyone know who actually was responsible for the original deal crafted with Millennium? I suspect that our ex city manager and the current city manager would have had a hand in it? Although the way it seemed so one sided, I presumed that Millennium had their lawyers draft it, and our council/city staff just signed it without reading it. :^)
I have actually been involved with construction, where the builder had to put up a performance bond WITH THEIR OWN MONEY as an assurance they would uphold their end of the deal.
How much money did the taxpayers of Nanaimo actually pay Millennium?
It would seem that recovering $100,000 of our own money, when over $3,000,000.00 is still outstanding is hardly cause for great celebration. It is however better than being poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
The original deal with Millennium was agreed to by the Council previous to the current Council.Certainly the ex City Manager and the (then)Deputy City Manager were heavily involved in negotiations and contractual details,as would be other Senior City staff and perhaps outside legal counsel.Senior staff were certainly pushing for the conference centre and the component hotel project.However the ultimate responsibility for a decision of this magnitude rests with the elected Council.Gary Korpan,as Mayor,has to accept the highest level of responsibility.Others on Council who were duped by Millennium include Holdom,McNabb,Unger,Brennan and especially Manhas who continued to sing the praises of Millennium by telling the public how fortunate the City was to have such a great,hard working “Partner” at the same time that Millennium was failing to meet any of their commitments.The one member of Council who had the good judgement to oppose the deal was Loyd Sherry.If I missed any Councilors who were involved please include by leaving a comment.
The role of then Councillor, now MLA, Cantelon in this matter should not be overlooked. It was he who went to the “If you Build it…” conference in Florida with Mr. Kenning. It was he who, with his expertise in real estate, was the projects go-to guy on Council until he left Council to become a Liberal MLA. It was after his departure that Mr. Manhas took up this task.