Mar 10, 2011 5:55 PM by Greg Boyce
Pueblo City Clerk Gina Dutcher confirms the ordinance passed by the Pueblo City Council yesterday turns about $750,000 over to Pueblo Motorsports Park and does not stipulate the money is a loan.
Dutcher told News First 5 there is an "understanding" that if PMP starts making money it will start repaying the money, but that is not included in the ordinance. There is a background paper that stipulates the money is meant to be a loan, but it contains no information on when the repayment might happen.
Pueblo Parks Department Director Creighton Wright told News First 5, "In the strictest sense of the word this is not a loan." Wright said this is a transfer of funds from one city agency to another. Wright added, "There's an expectation from the City Council that the money will be repaid over time."
ORDINANCE NO. 8322
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CITY OF PUEBLO 2011 BUDGET FOR THE HONOR FARM PROPERTIES ENTERPRISE FUND BY BUDGETING AND APPROPRIATING $747,000 FOR NEEDED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR DRAG RACING AND ROAD RACING VEHICLE PROGRAMS AND FUNDING THEM FROM BLACK HILLS CAPITAL PROJECTS/SOFTBALL COMPLEX (CP1021) AND LAKE MINNEQUA ATHLETIC FIELDS (CP1020)
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF PUEBLO, that:
The necessary capital investment needed for the safe and efficient operation of the Honor Farm Properties Enterprise Fund, is hereby increased by $747,000, which is hereby budgeted and appropriated, to create the capital facilities for the renovation of bleachers for Drag Racing, and to renovate the Drag Strip and Road Course.
Funds necessary to pay for $747,000 in capital investments is to be transferred to the Honor Farm Properties Enterprise Fund from Black Hills Projects including $600,000 from the Softball Complex Project and $147,000 from the Lake Minnequa Athletic Fields Project.
This ordinance shall become effective immediately upon final passage and approval.
INTRODUCED February 14, 2011
BY: Judy Weaver
PASSED AND APROVED: March 9, 2011
Background documents show there were discussions about the money being a loan, though there's no stipulation on when the money might be paid back other than when the money is available.
Parks and Recreation Director, Creighton Wright provided City Council with an update on the operation and capital needs for Pueblo Motorsports Park at the City Council Work Session held January 24. Council directed staff to provide a formal package for action.
At the City Council Meeting held on February 14, City Manager Jerry Pacheco and Parks and Recreation Director Creighton Wright provided Council with options for funding sources and capital investment projects for the Honor Farm. Mr. Wright presented three capital improvement options pertaining to the drag racing, road racing and off-highway vehicle programs. Mr. Pacheco provided three options to fund the capital investment at the Honor Farm including the proposed Fountain Creek Skate Park ($1 million), the Lake Minnequa Athletic Fields ($1.1 million) and the proposed Softball Complex ($1.1 million).
Mrs. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Ortegon moved to Amend the Ordinance inserting the amount of $900,000 and inserting the Black Hills Capital Projects/Softball Complex and Lake Minnequa Athletic Fields as the funding source for the Honor Farm Properties Enterprise (the "Enterprise"), Pass the Ordinance As Amended on First Presentation, Set the Public Hearing for Monday February 28, 2011 and Order the Ordinance to be Published By Title. The motion carried unanimously.
Following public hearing on February 28, 2011, the hearing was closed and the Council postponed the Ordinance until the Special Council Meeting on March 9, 2011. During the Council Retreat held on March 1, 2011, discussion on the matter indicated, in accordance with testimony from the public and users of the racetrack and drag strip, that funds in the amount of $747,000 were requested instead of the $900,000. By reducing the fund transfer to the Enterprise, funds could be made available for grant-matching funds for needed improvements at Pueblo Mountain Park.
As identified above, the financial impact is $747,000 from Black Hills Projects, $600,000 from the Softball Complex Project (CP 1021) and $147,000 from Lake Minnequa Athletic Fields (CP 1020).
The advance of these funds to the Enterprise shall be considered a "loan" to be repaid to the general fund when and as Enterprise revenues become available for repayment.