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Augusta Commission to consider management deal for parking deck

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The Augusta Commission on Monday will again consider a management deal with Augusta Riverfront LLC for operations at the city’s new convention center parking deck.

Fast-tracked by project managers, the garage was completed last year but continues to operate on a month-to-month contract while commissioners iron out details.

Documents up for approval Monday include an annual plan for the garage proposing $1.25 hourly and $7 daily rental rates and the purchase of a $59,000 riding sweeper.

The city is on the hook for a $25,000 fee plus expenses Augusta Riverfront incurs in running the deck, including staff salaries, but gets to keep a share of parking profits.

Augusta Riverfront, which has close ties to management of Morris Communications Co., owner of The Augusta Chronicle, also runs the adjacent Marriott at the Convention Center and will manage the center.

The parking deck agreements are the only item listed on the agenda for a called meeting at noon, which precedes the regular committee meetings.

On committee agendas are:

• Approving a $477,000 project to convert the Augusta Cares customer service line to a 311 hotline to handle Augusta Cares, utilities, engineering, solid waste and other customer service calls

• Approving Augusta Hou­sing and Community Develop­ment to proceed with developing 23 rental units on Barton Chapel Road

• A presentation by utilities employee B.B. Langham on flooding in the Hollywood subdivision

Comments (19) Add comment
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Riverman1
84130
Points
Riverman1 08/27/12 - 06:07 am
6
1
Twilight Zone

Sometimes I think the Twilight Zone theme should be playing quietly in the background at Commission meetings. Here we have bypassed the RFP process that locked Ampco out for THIS? You mean they only got the Ampco bid just to see what it would be….I read this somewhere…but can you imagine? The city puts something out to bid but is only wasting the time of the bidders. Heh. Bypassing the RFP process has the additional benefit of exempting them (ARLLC) from having to disclose the ownership interests of the ARLLC as well as any financial statements. I wish I could get Ampco or some other company to sue the city…..but decent companies are just content to be glad they aren't doing business here.

This is just so wrong in every regard….and Joe Bowles is going to pretend to be the knight in shining armor because he'll get a 70-30 split in the profits that should be 90-10 if anything. It seems to me the owner is entitled to the profits period. In this case the owner is paying the management company a fee plus all expenses….if there were to be an incentive for profitability it wouldn't need to be over 10%.

Also….since when is the Marriott in the business of professional parking deck management? If the city is paying for everything why pay them a penny….just put some city employees over there to collect the fees and clean the place up. That would be a lot less expensive than "hiring" the greedy Marriott.

And Paul Simon's statement that it's a valuable piece of land…..no kidding…..thanks to the city dumping $65M+ on that otherwise worthless piece of land. Realize the Commission has agreed to everything THEY have asked for thanks to Fred Russell. One day all this will be blamed on him, but I submit there were forces behind it all. Do, do, do, do theme music getting louder in the background over the white noise.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 08/27/12 - 07:02 am
3
0
The 11th wonder of the World, The Augusta Floating Parking Deck

I still want to know why heads have not rolled on the Floating Parking deck mistake/ripoff. This was a $multimillion dollar$, taxpayer funded screwup.

If I understand correctly only one Commissioner spotted the sneakily crafted air rights wording. Otherwise it would have been passed as just another quick streamlined deal by the Downtown Click.

Maybe a future Richmond Co. Grand Jury will exercise its legal authority to look into additional matters outside of those it is called for, as allowed by O.C.G.A. 15-12-##

If I were on the Grand Jury, I could suggest a few stones to flip over, just to see what crawls out.

Little Lamb
46054
Points
Little Lamb 08/27/12 - 08:22 am
1
2
Corruption

What is so bad about the month-to-month deal we have now?

If the city is to earn 70% of the "profits" of the deck (minus all deck expenses and minus a $25,000 a year 'fee' to Riverfront, LLC), what is the bottom line; profit or loss?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/27/12 - 09:19 am
4
0
Stupid

Taxpayers paid to build the parking deck.

Taxpayers pay the salaries to "manage" it.

Taxpayers pay all expenses to "manage" it.

Taxpayers then pay $25,000 for the honor of keeping a pittance of the "profit."

AGAIN, the city gets absolutely nothing in this deal. I have a hard time believing our commissioners are this intellectually-challenged. What is happening behind closed doors that we know nothing about?

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 08/27/12 - 09:35 am
3
0
Bravo Insider Information

Dead on and right to the point.

Riddle me this Fred Russell:
WHY, are taxpayers once again on the hook for a "Business Deal" that rewards everyone BUT the taxpayers?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/27/12 - 09:40 am
5
0
LL said it best... The City

LL said it best...

The City could actually save money by running a free parking deck.

I renew my challenge to any commissioner to give any reason - good, bad or otherwise - for hiring a "management" company.

dichotomy
33043
Points
dichotomy 08/27/12 - 09:41 am
4
0
This was no mistake. This was

This was no mistake. This was a conspiracy from the get go. Our commission, administrator, and Procurement people are constantly pulling these kinds of underhanded deals and then tell us "Oops". There are only two possibilities here, intelligence level or integrity level.

I personally don't believe anyone is THIS stupid. Any group of 6th graders could have negotiated a better deal. Heck, any group of 6th graders would have been smart enough to not get involved in this deal in the first place. The whole TEE center, parking deck, HVAC, overhead crosswalk deal is a gigantic ripoff. Some mysterious, behind the scenes force in Augusta pulls the strings and we jump up like puppets and build TWO buildings...to THIER specs, from which THEY will gain the most, AND we PAY THEM to operate those buildings and WE PAY ALL EXPENSES.

If you don't feel stupid, then you certainly qualify to be a citizen of the "City of Augusta". If you think we taxpayers got a good deal, then you may even qualify to be a commissioner. If you just don't care, you probably should apply to be the next administrator.

Augusta is sure a sweet place to do business for Paul & "associates". That ringing noise you hear from downtown is Paul & "associates" going "cha ching...cha ching....cha ching". That slapping noise you hear is our commissioners hitting their forehead going "doh.....doh....doh". Of course, some of them MAY be going "cha ching" too when nobody is looking. Is anyone looking???? Probably not since those who should be looking couldn't say anything even if they knew because of "association". Nobody is this stupid.....except us of course. DOH!

Little Lamb
46054
Points
Little Lamb 08/27/12 - 09:50 am
4
0
Land Bank

I haven't seen an article in the Chronicle yet actually stating that the lien on the property was settled and that the land was actually deeded to the city land bank. There wasn't supposed to be a "permanent" managment agreement signed on the parking deck until both of those conditions were met. What's the status?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/27/12 - 10:04 am
2
0
Pop Quiz

Question: How much does the Richmond County school board pay an outside company to "manage" its parking deck?

Answer: Nothing. The RCBOE "manages" the deck itself.

Little Lamb
46054
Points
Little Lamb 08/27/12 - 10:09 am
2
0
Different

There is a big difference, Insider. The city of Augusta built the parking deck on Ellis St. for the benefit of Augusta. The city of Augusta built the parking deck on Reynolds St. for the benefit of the Marriott Hotel owners.

seenitB4
87395
Points
seenitB4 08/27/12 - 10:22 am
4
0
Come on guys..

It is only money...heh YOUR money.....can't they find a way to get the folks in South Augusta to foot this bill.....now don't get antsy......stop that talk about pulling out of the county too.......don't even think of listening to River & Rebel......
Downtown folks know what is best for alll........so sit back & take it.......one day your ship will come in & I hope yall aren't standing at the airport when it does.....

Yeh...I'm joking....crazy world we live in....

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/27/12 - 10:23 am
2
0
If there is a difference,

If there is a difference, then tell me what "managing" a parking deck actually involves.

More importantly, why is it that the RCBOE has the manpower and expertise to do it in house and the city has to pay someone else to do it?

dichotomy
33043
Points
dichotomy 08/27/12 - 10:44 am
5
0
Just consider how stupid this

Just consider how stupid this thing is. I build you a parking deck and a conference center.....to your specs.....and throw in an overhead crosswalk to your hotel....the hotel you built with $7 million dollars of my money. I pay you to operate both buildings. I pay all operation and maintenance expenses. I give you the prime parking spaces for your staff and the "associates".

WHY DO I NEED YOU? YOU HAVE RISK NOTHING, YOU HAVE INVESTED NOTHING, AND YOU HAVE NOT ADDED ANY VALUE. And IF there are any profits, which I doubt, you certainly do not deserve any part of them. In fact, YOU should be giving ME a percentage of the profits from the Marriott. About 50% I figure.

I know I am just a taxpaying puppet but I am tired of Paul and "associates" jerking my chain while the commission kicks me. And I don't know which turnip truck our commissioners rode in on but I am sure the sign on the side said "Owned and Operated By Paul and associates".

Little Lamb
46054
Points
Little Lamb 08/27/12 - 10:52 am
4
0
Me, Too

I'm tired of it, too, Dichotomy.

seenitB4
87395
Points
seenitB4 08/27/12 - 11:28 am
2
0
dichotomy
33043
Points
dichotomy 08/27/12 - 12:03 pm
3
0
SPLOST or SLOPMETUS?

Does anyone remember any of these shenanigans being mentioned in that SPLOST thingy they slid by us to build "a conference center"?

In fact, they should not have called this one a SPLOST. This one should have been called SLOPMETUS ...pronounced Slop Me Too's...(Spend Lots of Other People's Money Enriching The Usual Suspects)

That acronym pretty well covers all of the SPLOSTs.

burninater
9606
Points
burninater 08/27/12 - 12:41 pm
1
0
So, y'all are saying that

So, y'all are saying that taxpayers are getting a raw deal for footing the bill for free infrastructure while the private interests retain the gains even though they didn't build that?

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 08/27/12 - 04:31 pm
0
1
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages
Unpublished

Welcome to the River City Circus. City Administrator Ben Dover will pass amongst you and take up a collection. Remember Ben Dover. River City loves these shows. The don't even mind that the same clowns have been in River City for at least the last seven decades. They want one curtain call after another. And when they go home they realize someone has picked their pockets. But they'll go back. Why? Because they all want to hear, "your mother is waiting for you at the Hale Street Gate". Remember, Ben Dover.

Riverman1
84130
Points
Riverman1 08/27/12 - 05:31 pm
3
1
What a Nerve

It just passed 6 to 2.

Everything about this deal is wrong and Susan's article this morning says in reference that the city pays expenses ".....but gets to keep a portion of the profits."

Is this not totally crazy - since when wouldn't the owner who foots the bill not be entitled to the profits?

What a nerve.

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 08/27/12 - 05:44 pm
0
0
Hmmm....

Everyone understand...the fix was in on this thing from day one...what we HAVE done here is not to necessarily get a great deal for the taxpayers, because that was NEVER going to happen anyway...but we managed to get a bit of a better deal...Now,the Simon's and "the rest" are on notice that their every move from here on out will be watched.....
It's up to us to keep a close eye on these "partners" as they like to call themselves and make sure that they constantly and consistently feel our steely glare..........so that the next time they get the urge to feed at the public trough, they'll think a bit harder about it....

Riverman1
84130
Points
Riverman1 08/27/12 - 08:06 pm
0
1
Scared?

Yeah, THEY were really scared alright. THEY threw in a pedestrian bridge for good measure.

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