Portsmouth Sports Complex

Filed under: — tkm August 8, 2007 @ 15:0 pm

Correspondence in regards to the Portsmouth City Schools Sports Complex: 

The following link is to a letter written to Jan Broughton, Superintendent of Portsmouth City Schools from Harold Daub, and the response Mr. Daub received.

CLICK:  8-1-07 Correspondence

After reviewing the reply from Ms. Broughton to Mr. Daub the following are just a few of the insights I have gained:

The Sports Complex WILL NOT be a $10 million complex, but a complex somewhere in the neighborhood of ~ $3.5 to 4 million.

In Ms. Broughton’s statement to question 1 she acknowledges that ~ $5 million of the $10 million has been allotted to purchase property for the Sports Complex; I assume this is a +/- situation. Looking at the property in this area it is pretty clear that Mr. Hatcher currently owns ~90% of the property. 90% of the ~$5 million would be ~$4.5 million to Hatcher, which leaves ~$500 thousand for any other needed property.

What was reported to the public was the Clark Foundation gave the Portsmouth City Schools $10 million. What was not clarified to the public was the schools would only receive allotments from the money, and the allotments are progress dependent; all fund transactions are being administered by attorney C. Clayton Johnson.

For the schools this means they will need to take out a loan, and I’m pretty sure at this time for an undetermined amount of money; I heard that the loan would be in the range of $40 million. This means there will be interest paid, by the schools, to the lending institution on the monies, and since the school does not have custody of the $10 million gift NO interest will be accrued by the schools.

Two other costs associated with the Sports Complex, and mentioned in Ms. Broughton’s letter, are those associated to attorney fees and to architectural fees, which appears to be >$300 thousand dollars and does NOT include legal fees associated to the acquisition of land.

The answer to Mr. Daub’s questions 2 and 3 Ms. Broughton expresses NO Master Plan has been adopted by the schools. Who knows how much of the ~ $5 million will be needed to raise and make ready for new construction/structure or what the cost to relocate existing utilities in the area! All indications are the gift is being used up quickly with NO real plan in place!

Ms. Broughton, by her correspondence of August 1, 2007, documents that Capital Improvement Funds will maintain the daily operating costs associated with the Sports Complex. Correct me if I’m wrong, but how can the schools use monies from the Capital Improvement Funds to sustain normal operating costs associated with the Sports Complex. The fund, as I see it, should be setup just as it reads “Capital Improvement Fund”; NO where do I see the words daily operating costs.

A question was also presented by Mr. Daub to the possibility of a future operating tax levy. It may just be me, but I’m getting a feeling that this tax increase will be presented to the tax payers in the very near future. If you notice Ms. Broughton does state in her response letter of August 1, 2007, the district, in the past several years, has been designated by ODE as being in fiscal caution but will no longer hold this designation. What she is not saying is what the designation the district will hold in the future. My question is what designation will our district hold? And, should we be building a new Sports Complex, which with the current direction will use up 50% of the $10 million just to acquire privately owned, tax based property instead of utilizing property that is already available and owned by the schools and by the city in the area of Spartan Stadium?

If the area near Spartan Stadium was utilized the $5 million that would have been used acquiring additional properties could be invested in an account that would help offset the continued maintenance and upkeep of a Sports Complex.

So what are we getting for $10 million dollars?

• A Sports Complex that will be valued in the neighborhood of $3.5 to 4 million dollars.

• Facilities that will need to be maintained with NO plans on how this will be accomplished without going back to the taxpayers for help

• Spartan Stadium, which I might add is one of the few historical structures still standing in Portsmouth; Branch Ricky Park; and the adjacent properties, having no financial means of sustaining their existence.

• Notre Dame Schools uncertainty on where their students will have the resources to participate in sports.

Marty Mohr, 6th Ward Councilperson, mentioned at the last “Regular” City Council meeting, community officials’ such as City, County, and Schools need to start working together – I agree!!!!!!

posted by tkm 8-8-07

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