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Old 04-08-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
tortminder
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Question 76 update project update

According to an article in the Branson/TriLakes News the 76 upgrade project will possibly grind to a halt due to lack of funding.
(SOURCE: http://bransontrilakesnews.com/news_...fd1f7955e.html )
“We didn’t get the $13 million loan,” Alderwoman Betsy Seay said during Thursday’s study session. “We still don’t have the $13 million loan nor will we get the $13 million loan.”

"Seay said the city started the 76 project without having the money first.

“I believe strongly we have to find a way to make this work, but we cannot, as a city, whether it’s the popular or unpopular decision, we can’t put ourselves in financial distress to do it,” Seay said.

Administrator Bill Malinen suggested finishing segment 3 of the 8-part project, and phases two and three of the four-phase downtown project and then stop until the city looks over financing options, and can secure necessary funds"
.

Later on in the article, it states: "Martin said the project could come to a temporary halt in about three weeks with some sidewalks and driveways still unfinished.

The completion date for segment 3 is set for May 19.

Martin said projected amount for the month of April will cost $1.76 million, and $1.35 million for May. About $3 million is needed to get to the May completion date."


Leaving the project unfinished and missing sidewalks and other infrastructure is worrisome and a disaster for those who have counted on the improvements.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:58 PM   #2
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I'm shocked this is the first mention of this....considering all the worry about the Jet Boat, this trumps that by light years.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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Why on earth would they start a project knowing they didn't have the funding in place? This is just a little crazy unless I am missing something.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lsheagney View Post
Why on earth would they start a project knowing they didn't have the funding in place? This is just a little crazy unless I am missing something.
I think that's a fair and reasonable question that someone should be answering. If it were my hometown, the feet of the councilmen/women would be held to the fire and I would expect an answer that question. I would also expect them to make the sidewalks and driveways that have been disrupted to be repaired, even if it means funds have to come from their pockets. To push a project forward that disrupts business and then leave it unfinished is not acceptable in my eyes.

I would be a fool, in the eyes of the bank and the eyes of my neighbors to try to build a home prior to having my funding in order. Is that the norm in Branson?

I feel bad for the business' who are left with sidewalks and driveways in poor repair due to the unfinished project.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:23 PM   #5
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Since 76 is a Missouri state highway, was the city hoping to get some state funds?
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitcreek View Post
Since 76 is a Missouri state highway, was the city hoping to get some state funds?
From the Branson/TriLakes News story;
"In July 2016, Branson aldermen approved a loan application submission to the Missouri Department of Transportation Finance Corporation for $13.2 million, which would pay for the initial part of the project. Finance Director Jamie Rouch said last month since the loan application, the city decided against federal funding due to restrictions and requirements.

We didn’t get the $13 million loan,” Alderwoman Betsy Seay said during Thursday’s study session. “We still don’t have the $13 million loan nor will we get the $13 million loan.

With the budget cuts at the state level, I would suspect that this is not a viable option.

From Mayor Best's FaceBook page today:
"Attended Board of Alderman Study Session.

We discussed the Highway 76 project and received the concept and budget. The city had a plan for funding the project; however, these funds came with stipulations of which the Board of Alderman and I were not made aware.

In light of these stipulations, the Board, along with the 76 Entertainment District Board of Directors and Finance Committee, will meet Thursday to discuss options for moving forward.

In my opinion, we need to pause the project, as well as the downtown project, to allow the funding mechanism to catch up with the construction.


For months Alderwoman Seay and I have been asking questions regarding the funding. In addition, I requested at the Finance Committee Meeting in November a new accountability mechanism to be put in place for both projects.

We received the first report a week ago which alerted us to issues with the funding.
We will be posting these reports to our website for the public to view and keep tabs on the project as well.

Alderwoman Seay and I have been pouring over minutes from meetings before we became Mayor and Alderwoman to wrap our heads around how these projects started, their original budgets, and how the projects got to where they are today. We will be discussing alternative funding sources for these projects and will have to make some difficult decisions in the near future.

We will not bankrupt our city for any projects. We may have to rest for a year or so before resuming the next phases of downtown and 76. Regardless, we will do what is best for our community."
(emphasis and underlining done by me).

I have been known by many to be a cynic, but as I have aged I am no longer that optimistic. This sounds like something that cries for an independent investigation.
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Last edited by tortminder; 04-09-2017 at 01:44 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:49 PM   #7
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I mean, besides the LOAN possibility, was the city hoping the state would just chip in since it is a state highway?

Will be interesting to see what the plan was for the total funding. And was there a plan to pay back the loan if it had been received from the state?
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:06 PM   #8
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Not the ideal times to have counted on state money.
Not just here, but many other states.
Whats this? No more pickelball at Mizzou??
California now has massive gas taxes as does New Jersey.
Tuitions going up everywhere.
Oh well, hope they can at least fill the trenches.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #9
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I have been out of town for the weekend, am amazed at what I am reading on this thread..
1st thing that come to mind is....
why did this info come out "after" the election...
Is that just coincidence?
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sanddunerider View Post
I have been out of town for the weekend, am amazed at what I am reading on this thread..
1st thing that come to mind is....
why did this info come out "after" the election...
Is that just coincidence?
THAT is the first question that popped into my mind when I started reading this thread. The timing is very suspicious and something that I think needs to be investigated.

Sounds similar to the old "Just sign it then read it" statement.

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Old 04-10-2017, 08:28 AM   #11
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Exclamation This is a fine mess you've gotten us into Ollie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHOW GAL View Post
THAT is the first question that popped into my mind when I started reading this thread. The timing is very suspicious and something that I think needs to be investigated.

Sounds similar to the old "Just sign it then read it" statement.

Going back to re-read Mayor Best's FaceBook post, there is a bit of explanation:
"For months Alderwoman Seay and I have been asking questions regarding the funding. In addition, I requested at the Finance Committee Meeting in November a new accountability mechanism to be put in place for both projects.

We received the first report a week ago which alerted us to issues with the funding.
We will be posting these reports to our website for the public to view and keep tabs on the project as well."


I am not familiar with the structure of the Finance Committee, but whomever it is, it looks like THEY made the decision to hold the report. It appears that Mayor Best is trying to do due dilligence but it also appears that somebody for some reason is dragging their feet.

I strongly suspect that an independent investigation is in order.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOMAN View Post
Bill Malinen ladies and gentleman, your outstanding City Administrator
This goes back to the past administration with a special mention to outgoing alderman Todd...and it includes existing sitting aldermen Booth & Simmons. Incoming alderman Bohinc is also a part of that group with a special mention for her involvement with the downtown project debacle in the first phase, that never came up prior to her most recent "Re-Election" either. The city manager & the city engineer both missed the stipulation on federal money, after all they are the paid professionals...not the aldermen. To say the sitting aldermen should pay out of their pockets is pretty funny on its own merit as a actual statement, but I'm sure they would be more than happy to kick in their $15.00 a month to help the cause. A certain alderman who didn't run for re-election this time around was solely the motivating force along with his crony's to moving this project along at any cost...note, he did not run for re-election.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitcreek View Post
I mean, besides the LOAN possibility, was the city hoping the state would just chip in since it is a state highway?

Will be interesting to see what the plan was for the total funding. And was there a plan to pay back the loan if it had been received from the state?
It's a self funded project by the creation of the CID...any loans or money that was dipped into to start the project would be paid back by the CID.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfBranson View Post
This goes back to the past administration with a special mention to outgoing alderman Todd...and it includes existing sitting aldermen Booth & Simmons. Incoming alderman Bohinc is also a part of that group with a special mention for her involvement with the downtown project debacle in the first phase, that never came up prior to her most recent "Re-Election" either. The city manager & the city engineer both missed the stipulation on federal money, after all they are the paid professionals...not the aldermen. To say the sitting aldermen should pay out of their pockets is pretty funny on its own merit as a actual statement, but I'm sure they would be more than happy to kick in their $15.00 a month to help the cause. A certain alderman who didn't run for re-election this time around was solely the motivating force along with his crony's to moving this project along at any cost...note, he did not run for re-election.
Thanks! This was all my understanding as well. What a mess!
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #15
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More details about funding from the city administrator in this article from Branson Tri-Lakes News:

http://bransontrilakesnews.com/news_...615eca33b.html

More comments from the mayor in this from KY3 News:

http://www.ky3.com/content/news/Bran...419336094.html
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