‘MSA bails on Frederick hotel’ – stubborn denials but it’s there in black & white

The five party MOU (5PMOU) should have had the title “MSA gets msa125out” except that no one supporting the project wants to admit it. In fact they deny it. At Mayor & Board and County meetings the project director Richard Griffin claimed MSA is fully involved as before. And his acolyte Donald Burgess is hotly denying anything has changed.

So let’s just lay out the places in the 5-party MOU where the MSA’s role is reduced, and where further role reductions are spelled out..

5PMOU: 11. The CITY has formally requested assistance from MEDCO to support this local initiative by issuing both the TIF and Parking Revenue Bonds for the CITY and COUNTY, to hold ownership and oversee the operations of the CONFERENCE CENTER, ON-SITE PARKING and related facilities on behalf of the public partners interests in the PROJECT.

MSA wants all to know it won’t provide a dollar and it may get right out. If it wasn’t so inclined why write in that ‘out’ clause?

PSam: this was the role previously attributed to MSA. MEDCO joins the Frederick DH&CC circus. MSA withdraws.

5PMOU: F. Design and Construction Funding and Services. The PARTIES, exclusive of MSA, agree to each provide a certain amount of funding (“Capital Funds”) and services estimated in the table below. The actual final amount of such Capital Funds shall be negotiated and ultimately determined by each entity prior to the execution of future agreements.

PSam: so MSA makes it explicit: it will no longer provide any funds, and the table listing ten sources of funds doesn’t have anything from MSA. MSA withdraws.

5PMOU: 2. CITY – Subject to approval by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the CITY intends to provide a portion of the future incremental property tax and parking revenue from the PROJECT toward debt service of TIF and Parking Revenue Bonds or similar financial mechanism issued by MEDCO or DHCD. The exact amount shall be determined by a future financial analysis by the PARTIES exclusive of MSA, or by DHCD, but is currently estimated at $2.2 million and $2.5 million respectively.

Canal on Carroll Creek - painting by Mick Williams

Canal on Carroll Creek – painting by Mick Williams

PSam: Note that MSA makes explicit they won’t now be involved in financial analysis or costing, something they had previously done. MSA withdraws.

5PMOU: 4. MSA – Subject to approval of the MSA Board of Directors and full reimbursement of its costs from Capital Funds provided by the CITY, COUNTY, or MEDCO, the MSA agrees to act as an Owners Representative to provide the following services to the PROJECT on behalf of the CITY, COUNTY, and MEDCO including but not limited to construction administration/management and public financial oversight of the expenses for the Conference Center, On-Site Parking and related work (“OWNERS REPRESENTATIVE”).

PSam: at last here’s something MSA is still doing. Except then there is this:

5PMOU: MSA or Maryland Legislature may request that MEDCO assume some or all of MSA’s responsibilities.

MSA shall provide no funds to the PROJECT.

PSam: so MSA wants all to know it won’t provide a dollar and it may get right out. If it wasn’t so inclined why write in that ‘out’ clause?

As if to underline the point we have this after a recital of MEDCO’s new role as acting on behalf of the state :

5PMOU: MEDCO also agrees to provide the Owners Representative services identified above for MSA if requested by MSA, Maryland Legislature, and the other PARTIES.

PSam: underlining that MEDCO may take over the one service MSA has left, namely owner’s representative’s services if asked by MSA. MSA prepares ground for withdrawal.

NOTE: in the spring when state funding was being sought from the legislature Delegate Carol Krimm coordinated the drafting of the bill for the hotel funding HB1474 with MSA. MEDCO was nowhere in sight. Next when the capital budget was tapped in a bypass of the appropriations process the bills adopted SB191/HB151 made release of funds conditional on a 4-party agreement with MSA representing the state. MEDCO wasn’t given any mention in the capital budget bills. MSA is exiting, and MEDCO is the last-resort state partner. 2016.10.14

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