What timing I have! I posted city expenditures for Egyptian Theatre projects on Tuesday and now there’s a memo dated November 6 in the agenda packet for next Monday’s meeting about this (see page marked E-3, which is p. 13 of the PDF file, my emphasis added):
In March of 2013, the City Council agreed to amend the Egyptian’s FY12-13 agreement to add FY13 TIF funding in the amount of $125,000 and shift remaining bond monies to be used for the installation of a sprinkler system instead of air conditioning. Any funds leftover after the sprinkler system installation and the associated plaster repairs were completed were to be spent on a list of other prioritized expenses.
Since that time, the sprinkler system install, plaster repairs, and a significant portion of the items on the prioritized list have been done. However, due to the uncertain nature of renovating an existing historic structure, P.E.T. wanted to make sure that they had solid costs on the sprinkler system and plaster repairs prior to moving forward with the items on the prioritized list. While many of the items on the prioritized list have been checked off, they were not able to spend all of the FY13 TIF monies by the agreement deadline of October 1. The Egyptian Theatre is requesting that the remaining $90,809.82 in FY13 TIF funds be rolled into their FY14 agreement.
The Egyptian hit a deadline for FY2013 spending in October so I’m not implying anything by my remark about the timing; this item has to come up now anyway. Still, they seem to be taking lots of care to line up the ducks.
First off, what does the Egyptian Theatre Capital Projects Priority List look like? It’s actually pretty long (PDF pp. 104-108).
I wonder if a tiny part of the city’s emphasis on the existence on the list may be a reaction to the comments section associated with the November 5 City Barbs post, though I’m not sure why there would be touchiness on the subject. The list, with its addition of sprinkler system installation, was approved in March AFTER the bids on the previously-approved air conditioning installation came in way over the estimates/budgeted amount and they had to abandon the project. The list is actually an attempt at correction. Also, just from a general budgetary standpoint I don’t think it’s unfair to question the propriety of re-allocating such a big chunk of change so late in the fiscal year.
Another expenditure that we might deem questionable is the “EGYPTN THTR ALLEY RCNSTRCTN” with heated sidewalks because I don’t see it on the list at all. However, that might be a city project rather than an Egyptian one — I hope to get that sorted out next week.
Lastly, let me take an opportunity to observe that city officials have the last word on these expenditures. Unhappiness with the re-prioritizing and re-allocation decisions falls on them, not the Egyptian.