Part 2 – Willson on Lakewood SportsPlex & TIF Documents

Today we continue with bond analyst Steve Willson’s commentary on the documents produced by the Village of Lakewood pursuant to my Freedom of Information Act request concerning the SportsPlex and Tax Increment Financing District:

Notes on the Lakewood TIF FOIA dump 5/27/15

Steve Willson

Steve Willson

5 – Note Shannon Andrews advising the SportsPlex to re-characterize certain expenses so they can be eligible for reimbursement from TIF proceeds. (email 3/3/15 Shannon Andrews to Jack Porter).

6 – I find most intriguing the email 3/3/15 from Geoff Dickinson of Friedman, the Village’s TIF advisor, to Catherine Peterson.

The Village has denied all along that they would spend any Village money.

But here we have a statement that the Village is being asked to commit $10 million to pay for improvements, long before the TIF revenues will be available in that amount.

Note further that the Friedman study indicated that the TIF could do a maximum of $66 million (present value — not including interest, i.e., the maximum amount that could be borrowed).

Note that Friedman indicates the SportsPlex wants $60 million of that $66 million.

7 – The Village paid $600,000 for 40 acres (email 3/5/15 Peterson to [Lou] Tenore).

8 – How much does the SportsPlex want?

Erin Smith

Erin Smith

Ken Santowski

Ken Santowski

We don’t know because they don’t give us any of the 18+ drafts of the RDA, but in the 3/19/15 email from [Ken] Santowski to Peterson, he says they want $30 million, and they are asking to be reimbursed for the purchase price of the land.

Clearly Erin Smith is pushing this deal and Santowski is pushing back.

Yet we were told that the SportsPlex would raise its own money privately and that TIF funds would be used only for municipal improvements.

He also notes that the Village is being asked to commit to borrowing $6 million to $12 million for road improvements.

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