Price is right for Kahle bonds |

Price is right for Kahle bonds

Michael Schneider

Although last week’s showdown between Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority board members and Douglas Commissioners had the makings of Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson, it was much ado about nothing.

County Manager Dan Holler said bond pricing for Kahle Park Phase II construction is complete and the TDVA commitment is under the board’s approved cap.

“I’m delighted the Kahle Park bonds came it under the TDVA cap,” said Kevin Servatius, Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino board representative and TDVA chairman. “It will be nice to build Phase II of the park.”

Next Tuesday’s bond sale will cost the TDVA $1.935 million over the next 15 years. Because the TDVA will soon be funded by Douglas room tax dollars, it will be impacted by a bond issue to be paid with room tax money.

At a Dec. 7 TDVA meeting, the board, which consists of casino representatives and one Douglas commissioner, approved a bond sale with a cap of $1.96 million over 15 years.

The previous week, the county commission approved a sale of $2.2 million in bonds over 15 years. County staff had recommended the commission finance the bonds over 20 years, but the commission decided to go with a 15-year issue.

With a $300,000 discrepancy between the TDVA’s cap and that of the county, the stage was set for a potential court battle should the TDVA commitment have come in at, say, $2.1 million.

“The TDVA board is likely to direct an action that would seek to stop the sale of the bonds,” Steve Teshara, TDVA executive director, said to Steve Weissinger, Douglas Commissioner and TDVA board member in a Nov. 23 voice mail message. Teshara suggested the county stop the bond sale to avert any TDVA action.

And if the commission didn’t delay the bond sale: “We’ll all spend a lot of legal dollars and if the thing is tied up enough, I am sure that would have a negative impact on the ability of the project to move forward next construction season,” Teshara said.

If the bond sale, and resulting construction, was unable to proceed next year, it likely wouldn’t have at all because of Assembly Bill 616.

AB 616, passed by the Nevada Legislature in 1997, sets out a structure for the county room tax allocation to shift from 65 percent to the Carson Valley to 65 percent to Lake Tahoe tourism promotion.

When the shift begins this coming June, the law requires that no bonding be done with Tahoe Township room tax monies. Even unsuccessful legal action by the TDVA would have likely pushed the bond sale past next June, according to District Attorney Scott Doyle.

Had the county have moved forward the bond issue despite the TDVA legal action, it likely wouldn’t have found any takers due to the impending court battle.

At the Dec. 7 TDVA meeting, Weissinger blasted Teshara for acting on behalf of the TDVA without consulting all board members.

Because the sale was about $25,000 under the authority’s cap, legal action is not authorized under the TDVA’s Dec. 7 motion regarding the bonds.

The interest rate on the bonds will be 4.158 percent. Holler said one reason the county staff recommended the 20-year plan was to take advantage of the low interest rates over a longer time period.

The Phase II building, which will be next to the Phase I building already constructed, will include a gymnasium with regulation basketball and volleyball courts and an indoor three-lane jogging track.

A weight room will also be incorporated into Phase II.

Dirt will begin moving in May, according to Scott Morgan, director of community services. Before then, Morgan said the county will be clearing the area of trees and other obstructions and will do other preparatory work on site.

The county hopes to award a building contract by June 1 and to do steel and block work over the summer. The roof should be in place by the end of the construction season in October, allowing workers to concentrate on the interior next winter.

Morgan said the building, and all its amenities, should be open and available to the public by fall 2000.

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