Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority is refusing – for now – to lend $ 2.1 million to a parking garage business the city supports despite losses dating back 16 years.
“As a trustee of taxpayers’ money, I cannot,” said Lori Boyer, CEO of DIA. “… I can’t work on ‘trust me.'”
Metropolitan Parking Solutions LLC owes the city $ 56 million and could still borrow more, Boyer said.
But she said this week that the DIA would not advance a dime more until it sees cash flow information from the company, which operates three garages near the county courthouse and the ‘arena, said he would provide when he signed an agreement with the city in 2004.
The company has not honored its agreement, Boyer told MPS in a letter last month.
She said the city has the right to see data on the company’s revenue, including amounts collected from daily and monthly customers, special event customers, number of cars, number of discounts, ticket validation and the lanes they used to leave.
The agreement provided that the city cash advance every six months to cover business losses during this period.
But a lawyer for the company responded on Monday that the city was in default for not providing the MPS loan was due and the city was seizing minor issues as some sort of distraction.
“…[T]The DIA and the city have waived any presumed importance by accepting reports provided by MPS for almost 16 years, ”attorney Cody Westmoreland responded in a letter to city attorneys.
“…[I]It appears that the DIA is trying to create a “dispute” … in order to evade its payment obligations. “
The agreement required the city to lend this money twice a year until 2031, with repayments to begin in 2036.
Both sides said a report by the city council’s auditor’s office completed in August supported their actions. The report brought to light the hundreds of thousands of dollars in late fees that MPS had incurred by not paying property taxes on time for your garages – the invoices were finally paid – and referred to “problems with documentation and meeting deadlines” with the material the company provided to the city.
Boyer, who became the Managing Director of DIA last year, said the DIA had sent reminders to the company since September, pointing out whenever monthly cash reports were overdue, and urged the company to comply with its agreement.
Westmoreland cited part of the auditor’s report that both the DIA and the company complied with the agreement “except for some documentation and timeliness issues.”
She added that the company could provide any information the city wanted, but collecting some of it – there was a detailed list – would require around $ 25,000 in programming costs to set up the collection. of data and then about $ 100,000 a year after that for other costs. .
The changes “will place a substantial additional burden on Jacksonville taxpayers without any added value,” she added.
Steve Patterson: (904) 359-4263