July 5, 2004 (Home)
Why are Asbury Taxpayers Still Paying the Debt on Convention Hall, When Our Attorneys Said We Wouldn’t Be?
Last year, AP taxpayers paid over $10,000 in interest on one bond used to repair Convention Hall several years ago.
Wednesday, July 7, the council will hold the first public meeting since I asked for permission to show the video tape of Alfred Faiella answering Rita Marano’s question about the proposed sale of Convention Hall and the bond debt on the complex. Although Mayor Kevin Sanders rejected my offer to show the tape during the last public meeting, City Manager Terry Reidy promised to view the copy of the tape I supplied to him; and he and the Mayor said the council members would view the tape before the next meeting, so they can comment.
Here is a transcript of the statements in question, so that everyone can see what the council was given to watch.
Bond Excerpt from 2-hour Transcript of Oct 23, 2002 Council Meeting, at which the Amended Restated Redevelopers’ Agreement was passed, launching Asbury Park’s Waterfront Redevelopment -
Rita Marano: I asked this question last week; I’m going to ask it again. If we sell Convention Hall for the $5 million dollars and we give back the Fishmans $2.5 million in credits for repairing the boardwalk or putting in a new boardwalk, who’s going to pay off the bond on Convention we owe, that we’ve borrowed on?
James Aaron: Any monies owed on Convention Hall by Asbury Park up until this time will remain City of Asbury Park’s debts.
[There’s a groan from the audience.]
Marano: So then that means it’s a wash. Cause we owe about $2.5 million now – maybe more. I was trying to figure it out.
Aaron: You can’t equate anything like that as a wash for the simple reason that you’re getting $2.5 million dollars today and you’re using $2.5 million as opposed to paying something off at a very low interest rate over a long period of time. There is no equating the two.
Marano: But the payments are up to 2015. Do the taxpayers have to keep paying that even when we don’t own the building?
Marano: Who pays it?
Faiella: The closing – at the closing the proceeds will pay off your loans, just like you sold your house for the mortgage.
Marano: The $2.5 million that they’re going to give us is going to pay off our debt?
Faiella: That and if there’s any excess funds...[follows is unclear, sounds like Faiella is referring to proceeds from the sale of other properties creating these "excess funds"]
Marano: So we will not have the bond issue?
Faiella: No you will not. That will be paid off by the proceeds of the closing.
Aaron: And then you’ll have the ability to bond that $2.5 million that is now paid off to pay for other purposes.
Copies of this video tape can be ordered from Shangazi Denson, 732-775-1912