CMPA Report: March 30 meeting

No motion was made to remove Maritime Park Development Partners as the general contractor. Scott Davison of MPDP bristled at comments by CMPA attorney Ed Fleming that the letter from the bonding company didn’t expressly commit the company to providing MPDP a performance bond for the construction of the $38-million project.

Davison insisted that MPDP has met the bonding requirements of developer’s agreement and read a letter from his attorneys which said that the bonding letter has the language of that agreement embedded in it, meets or exceeds the requirements of the agreement and the comments by Fleming weren’t relevant to meeting the contract. Furthermore Davison blamed Fleming for the delays in reaching an general contractor agreement and that the local attorney had the draft agreement for several weeks and had only expressed his concerns yesterday.

Davison said the Fleming’s letter to CMPA board had only been received a few hours before the meeting and his attorneys had only about 90 minutes to respond. He said that had Fleming responded to the draft proposal sooner the CMPA Board would be talking about the actual performance bond (because they would have a general contract agreement approved), not some letter of intent.

Prior to these statements by Davison, which happened near the end of the meeting, the CMPA meeting had been very open and relaxed as board members expressed their concerns about moving the project along and meeting the mid-May deadlines for the New Market Tax Credits.

Chair Eddie Todd opened the meeting saying that he had called the meeting because “we don’t always get a chance to communicate.” He wants to improve the board’s communication with community so that the public clearly understands what it is getting at the park and when the construction will start. He wants to develop a better process for overseeing the project and warned board members that they may have to meet more often to meet the NMTC deadlines, possibly biweekly.

“We’re going to be the sharing board,” Todd said.

Ed Spears, the executive director for the CMPA, said the timeline is tight for the NMTC and that he is working on a 200-point key list and that its imperative that the CMPA board define the scope of the project – both for the $38 million and the additional $11 million in NMTC.

The CMPA board asked to have as much information on the park plans as soon as possible so that they can study the material prior to the meetings. April 9 is the date for the next meeting in which MPDP will present the latest site plans. Todd asked that board members to send their questions to MPDP prior to that meeting to give the developers time to include them in their presentation.

Board member Bentina Terry said, “We need to set some hard deadlines. What we expect? And when we can expect it?”

Some of the things that Spears mentioned that the CMPA board needs to understand and approve are the changes in the plans from the approved design criteria and differences in the November 2009 development budget and the one released last week by MPDP.