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Parking deck is back on commission's agenda

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About 100 pages of documents related to a new downtown parking deck are back before the Augusta Commission for approval today.

The documents, item 49 on a 50-item agenda, include operating agreements, a bank release of a lien on land under the deck and a deed of the land from owner 933 Broad LLC to the Augusta Land Bank Authority.

The presence of a lien and the city’s lack of ownership of the land had created alarm among some commissioners and prompted a majority to call for an external forensic audit.

More recently, however, commissioners have raised concerns about the operating agreements and whether they generate enough cash for the city.

Commissioner Bill Lockett said a recent side-by-side comparison of parking-management plans was helpful but insufficient to win his support for the package.

Paul Simon, the president of 933 Broad LLC and Augusta Riverfront LLC, the firm seeking to manage the deck, will address the commission at the start of today’s meeting.

Both firms share management with Morris Communications Co., which owns The Augusta Chronicle.

When the documents went before the commission for the first time in June, Simon said he hoped all 10 commissioners would support them.

Until management agreements are in place, the deck will remain on a month-to-month contract with Augusta Riverfront.

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TrulyWorried
14535
Points
TrulyWorried 08/06/12 - 08:22 pm
2
0
Parking deck

is it being used? Or just sitting there "in space".

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/06/12 - 09:07 pm
6
0
Scam alert

I have asked and asked, but no one can answer. Why the heck do you pay someone to "manage" a parking deck?

Taxpayers are paying for the parking deck, the employees, their salaries and their benefits.

What - if anything - does the "management" company actually do?

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/06/12 - 09:21 pm
4
0
Good Question
Unpublished

..insider. I have often thought this myself. If we are paying a company to manage the deck.. then why are we paying for all of the equipment and salaries too? Shouldn't the management fee cover those things? Things like this are exactly why we needed ppl like Lori Davis on the commission, but it appears that wont happen now.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/06/12 - 10:11 pm
4
0
Full Disclosure
Unpublished

At least The Chronicle is disclosing the relationship between the owner of their paper and the management of Augusta Riverfront LLC. I don't remember seeing that mentioned in the past. Good article by Ms McCord. She has had surprisingly fair coverage of this story.. considering that her boss is behind a lot of these deals.

TrulyWorried
14535
Points
TrulyWorried 08/06/12 - 10:47 pm
4
0
Shellman

Yes, you said it - Ms. Davis would have been such a huge contribution to the whole area - but folks didn't realize what they are missing out on. Too bad, really. Thanks for trying so hard Ms. Davis!

seenitB4
88155
Points
seenitB4 08/07/12 - 04:08 am
4
1
Sherlock...:)

Both firms share management with Morris Communications Co., which owns The Augusta Chronicle.

Don't they even own the stray cats on Broad St.?

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 05:41 am
5
0
If anyone doesn't know who

If anyone doesn't know who owns it, I'd be surprised. The Chronicle pushed HARD for the TEE Center and parking deck that they now totally control and are being paid to manage even. If you don't have something to do with the Marriott, don't even think you can use the building. Sweet deal.

I wonder how Al Gray and Lori Davis made out on their visit to the DA's office about all this? Maybe time will tell and actions from the DA's office will eventually take place.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/07/12 - 08:01 am
5
0
Dumb

There are two reasons to privatize a city function:

1) The service requires specialization that the city cannot provide, or

2) The private company can perform the function much cheaper, saving the city money.

It takes absolutely no specialization to run a parking deck.

We are losing money on the deal because we are providing the parking deck, salaries and benefits, and they aren't providing diddly squat.

Little Lamb
46404
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 08:21 am
3
0
What's the Deal?

From Susan's story:

Until management agreements are in place, the deck will remain on a month-to-month contract with Augusta Riverfront.

It would be helpful for the commissioners and us citizens to know whether the month-to-month contract is more expensive or less expensive than the proposed "permanent" deal. If the month-to-month deal is good, just let it ride and forget about the deal hammered out in Simon's smoke-filled office.

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/07/12 - 09:16 am
0
1
BAH RAM U
Unpublished

And all the sheeple said BAH BAH BAH

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/07/12 - 10:00 am
3
0
Challenge

Can anyone name a single benefit in privatizing the parking deck to taxpayers?

Little Lamb
46404
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 10:03 am
3
0
Employees

Fewer relatives of commissioners on the city payroll?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/07/12 - 10:41 am
3
0
LL, according to the

LL, according to the agreement, the city pays the salaries and benefits of the "management" company employees.

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 11:03 am
4
0
David Fry thought it was a

David Fry thought it was a good idea to get Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson to run it on the side so there must be money in it.

Speaking of that, I wonder if the info Al Gray and Lori Davis gave to Ashley Wright in any way touches on that episode?

Little Lamb
46404
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 11:42 am
3
0
Yes, I Know

I know that the city ends up paying for the salaries, benefits, uniforms, and other expenses of the parking deck employees. What I was trying to say is that the parking deck employees are not city government employees, hired by Fred (What, me worry?) Russell, and under pressure from commissioners to hire their relatives, friends, cronies, etc.

The hiring and firing will be done by Riverfront, LLC. I don't know to what degree commission pressure would sway them.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/07/12 - 11:55 am
3
0
Georgia...

needs a statewide grand jury.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/07/12 - 12:04 pm
3
0
Riverman, It is my

Riverman, It is my understanding from Mrs. Davis that she and Al Gray would have had to present the smoking gun on a silver platter.There is plenty to warrant an investigation, but it won't happen. The forensic audit is what was needed. This the Commissioners were terrified of.

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 12:13 pm
4
0
Conservative Man, thanks. I

Conservative Man, thanks. I don't know the legal aspects of all that happened, but I do know there was lots of political pressure to build the TEE and pass out management contracts. Some people think they are untouchable, but that can be a mistake. Ask Osbon after the U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver fined him $5 million.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/07/12 - 12:44 pm
2
0
Question

Technically, we approved the construction of the MCC (Marriott Convention Center) and the Marriott Parking Deck, but was there ever any talk prior to the SPLOST vote of paying someone to run these facilities?

Disclaimer: Any confusion between MCC and anything else with similar letters is purely coincidental.

Little Lamb
46404
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/12 - 12:57 pm
2
0
MCC

The answer to your question is, “No,” because the management fees to run the MCC and the management fees to run the Marriott parking deck (two separate contracts) will be paid from the general fund, not SPLOST dollars.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/07/12 - 04:23 pm
2
0
Let's hope!!!

that the Commission will vote yet again to go slowly on this albatross. It sounds as if Augusta Riverfront LLC was basically given a blank check to run this thing and WE the taxpayers will have to pony up whatever they want the check to say.....

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