Ice rink’s future appears non-existent |

Ice rink’s future appears non-existent

Michael Schneider

It’s time for “Plan C.” A City Council subcommittee formed to work out a deal with potential Rufus Allen Boulevard ice rink purveyors will recommend the council reject a proposal to construct and operate the rink.

Co-Energy and ProSites, the only firms that answered the city’s call last spring for ice rink developers, have yet to produce a guarantee for bonds the city would have to sell to finance the rink’s construction.

Steve Weiss, parks superintendent, said the city would require a Letter of Credit equal to one-year’s worth of bond payments – about $275,000 – from the companies.

A Letter of Credit is similar to cash. It is a note from a bank that can be exchanged for currency.

At a Nov. 17 council meeting, the council gave the businesses until Dec. 3 to vouch for the first year of bond payments. The city wants a voucher because council members and staff are skeptical the rink will perform as well as Co-Energy and ProSites estimate.

The tentative agreement would call for the revenues generated by the rink in first years to go toward paying the bonds that the city would need to sell to finance the construction.

Weiss said the subcommittee met after the Dec. 3 deadline and unanimously voted to recommend the council reject the proposal.

Weiss said on Dec. 8 the city received a letter saying a Letter of Credit would be forthcoming after a meeting with a loan officer on Dec. 9.

The city still had not received a cash warrant as of Friday.

Even though the proposition was the only response to several Requests for Proposals sent by the city last spring regarding the ice rink, Weiss said there is a “Plan C.”

“Plan A” involved the South Tahoe Ice Center, a group of residents who tried to open an ice rink at the Rufus Allen site next to the Campground by the Lake. It was unsuccessful.

“Plan B” was the Co-Energy/ProSites proposal.

It appears to be the fourth quarter, the other team has the ball with less than a minute and Co-Energy/ProSites have no more time-outs.

“Plan C,” according to Weiss, “involves communications with individuals and companies I’ve found since the (RFP) process started.”

Weiss met with a party yesterday, but said he is not yet in a position to discuss it, or other potential leads. He said more detail on “Plan C” will likely be forthcoming at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Who: South Lake Tahoe City Council

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Where: Council Chambers, 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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