Ice rink decision delayed a month |

Ice rink decision delayed a month

Michael Schneider

Two groups, which wish to work together to construct and operate the fledgling ice rink on Rufus Allen Boulevard, will have to wait until December to find out if the city will work with them.

The South Lake Tahoe City Council postponed a decision to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with ProSites Management, LLC and Co-Energy Group.

Under the proposal offered by the two companies, ProSites, of Sparks, would operate the rink and Co-Energy, of Sacramento, would build it.

The companies’ plan calls for the city to sell bonds to finance the construction. Proceeds from the rink would then be used to pay off the bond sale.

A City Council subcommittee, which was formed to investigate the companies’ ability to generate enough income to pay the bonds, wants money up front from the rink proponents to cover the first couple years of operation, should the rink not live up to its financial projections.

According to city records, the groups said they have not been able to secure a Letter of Credit guaranteeing the city’s bond sale as of yet. In addition, Mayor Hal Cole, who serves on the ice rink subcommittee, asked for more specifics regarding the proposed rink.

ProSites and Co-Energy will have exclusive rights to negotiate with the city for the next 60 days to formulate an acceptable plan should the council vote Dec. 15 for the Memorandum of Understanding.

At that point, the city will either enter into a contract to build the rink or look for other interested parties. The ice rink is designed to be enclosed and include amenities such as a pro shop.

The Co-Energy/ProSites proposal was the only one received by the city after several Requests for Proposals were sent out last spring.

A group of residents tried to open the South Tahoe Ice Center on the same site two years ago but were plagued with funding problems.

The rink is now dormant and in a state of disrepair and creditors who financed the South Tahoe Ice Center venture are considering or initiating legal action against the city to recover losses.

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