June 21, 2006

Here is a copy of a Dec 2005 from P.A. Ucci to Pensacola City Council that he recently forwarded to me:

From: paucci


Cc: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 10:30 PM

Subject: Brockton a Template for Pensacola?

Recently, the Independent Weekly waxed eloquently on the success of baseball teams in various city's. Brockton, MA. was one of these city's. Brockton has a population of 96,000. Its downtown area needed reviving. Building a ball park and conference center was selected to uplift the city. Sound familiar?

Brockton's form of government is the same as Pensacola. In Brockton the public sector provided $ 8 million , and the private sector $ 3 million for the venture.

For Trillium, the public sector will provide close to $100 million, the private sector is committing about $ 2 to $ 4 million and promises.

Brockton engaged an outfit called the 21st Century Corp. to build and manage the ball field (Campanelli Stadium) and conference center named (Shaw's). After two years of operation, 21st Century owed Brockton $ 842,000 interest on the $ 8 million loan from the city. Century came up more than half-million dollars short. Unilaterally, the mayor forgave $ 360,000 of the debt, and allowed another $ 179,000 to be deferred.

This action instigated rebuke from Brockton citizens expressed in the local news media. Excerpts of public expressions follow.

"Yep, the Council was duped. Now it is time for them to re-show their strength, and cut funding to this white elephant company the 21st Century Corp. Also, cut his budget (Mayor) to get back the money he forgave."

"Council expresses shock at changes to stadium deal."

"Forgiving the debt adds to the financial burden of the city……on the $ 8 million bought for the stadium construction".

"I hope the Century Corp. and the city can make this project pay for itself, the way it was originally intended".

"The mayor said it was necessary to forgive a portion of the first interest payment for several reasons, most important of which was the LACK OF REVENUE FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER."

"The construction and opening of the conference center was delayed. too late to plan a full year of events at the center."

"The baseball team owners who operate the stadium and the conference center, are the only source of money for the Century to repay the loan, although the city gives the Corp. $ 250,000 annually for personnel and operating expenses."

This is just a partial list. It sets the tone for what can happen to Pensacola with Trillium. The initial legal documents that have been made public unless changed and carefully scrutinized almost assuredly points to chaos.

My Response:

For misquote: "For Trillium, the public sector will provide close to $100 million, the private sector is committing about $ 2 to $ 4 million and promises."
The City's note is $42 million – not $100 million.

The CMP financing is completely different than Brockton. The bond issue is paid off by CRA revenues not lease fees from the park.

The Mayor forgave the notes because the City of Brockton has seen the property values downtown jump from $2.6 billion to $6.6 billion in the past 10 years.


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