Thursday, September 18, 2008

October for LCCCA: Will Gib Trick or Treat?

The Lancaster County Convention Center Authority held its September board meeting on Thursday evening.

Chairman of the Board Art Morris reported that he expects to know the status of the $3.2 million contingency fund request from the state by the October board meeting. Morris noted that, in the event that the state funding does not come through, the Authority would still have five months to seek alternative solutions.

Morris has repeatedly said that he "continues to receive assurances from State Senator Gib Armstrong" that he is trying to come up with the funding.

Finance Chair Laura Douglas reminded the board, in her report, that the project remains over committed by $799,000 as of August 31.

Douglas has made clear that the Authority needs all of the contingency funding it has requested in order to be able to pay the center's construction costs. Operational success is another story altogether.

In other reports, the Facilities Programming Committee reported that the project is now 63% complete in terms of hard construction dollars.

Executive Director Kevin Molloy shared that the board recently approached Wachovia about "collateralizing" its construction bonds, which the bank agreed to do.

On the issue of the construction funding from the Wachovia bond sale, of which there is approximately $16 million remaining, the Authority has to decide where to invest that money since its current contract with MBIA expires at the end of the month.

To that end, the board passed a resolution directing its financial adviser to solicit bids.

Certificates of deposit and U.S. treasury bonds have been discussed as options.

These bids will be opened and discussed in a special 6 p.m. October 2 meeting.

The resolution also permits either Molloy or Morris to determine the appropriate course of action should a financial situation arise where the money might be in jeopardy.