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July 15, 2011

5

Arena board terminates program manager, and does other stuff

by Deena Winter


The three-member board overseeing Lincoln’s construction of a new arena in a railyard west of downtown cut loose the company that has been in charge of the whole deal up to now.

Read the background story here.

The Joint Public Agency:

• Ended its contract with a Virginia company that had been serving as program manager for the whole $340 million arena project, SAIC. Marvin and the mayor said SAIC was terminated because they decided the management structure was just too top-heavy and this is a way to save money on management. Mayor Chris Beutler thanked SAIC for their services and said a “good-sized engineering consortium,” city engineers and SAIC’s subcontractor, PC Sports, can handle things. Then the JPA approved a new contract with PC Sports that makes it the interim program manager while the city negotiates a permanent contract with the company.

• Was told that the last in a series of three bonds to finance the arena project — $100 million in tax-exempt bonds — will likely be issued on Aug. 9. The city’s investment advisor expects the JPA will pay a little higher interest rate than on the first two issuances, at 4.5 percent, compared to 3.25 and 3.75 percent. The City Council votes on the issuance on July 25.

• Approved a new one-year management contract with former Councilman Dan Marvin – who is the city’s arena go-to guy – that gives him a 4 percent raise to $88,150 per year.

• Was asked to approve the purchase of the Watson-Brickson lumber yard for $481,000 plus $314,000 in moving costs and $121,000 for racking expenses. However, JPA board member Tim Clare, a UNL regent, refused to approve the purchase agreement because the figures were wrong on his copy. The closing is scheduled for July 19.

Clare said this has happened before – documents are incomplete or have errors – and he has said “I’m not gonna do it.”

“I’m happy to stay here until midnight if that’s what it takes,” he said. Eventually, the paperwork was put in order and approved.

So the JPA continued on with its agenda and then went into recess while officials scurried to get the paperwork in order for his approval.

• Approved a $24,000 change order for work on the 10th and Salt Creek Roadway double roundabouts, and a $589,000 change order because the city is unable to get to the fill it had planned to use to bring the arena pad up to grade, because BNSF won’t let trucks drive over its temporary crossing because it could be damaged.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Betty Lee
    Jul 15 2011

    How ironic, the mayor can asses an organization and determine that it is too top-heavy with management! The mayor should know top-heavy! Now, do the same thing with the city!

    Reply
  2. Buzz Murphy
    Jul 15 2011

    I’m just a little more than curious about how dirt from an outside source can cost so much — $589,000 — additional dollars (above planned) and be OK’d without any discussion. Why didn’t anyone see that the BNSF pile of dirt was not accessible early on and suggest or require that it be moved to an better another location? Surely, the site manager would have seen that. I do compliment Tim Clare for “sticking to his guns” and requiring that the JPA copy of the contract with the brick yard be correct before approving it. I don’t think we’ve heard the last from SAIC about the termination of their contract — even after the “spin” by the Mayor. But, then, they still have a presence through the PC Sports contract. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Reply
  3. porcupine
    Jul 15 2011

    More screwed up paper work and bad contracts. Put in an order to buy BNSF stock. They’re making a killing off the city. Everywhere I look I see dump trucks hauling dirt. Where is the dirt coming from that is being hauled to by the old inpound lot? How about the trucks going down
    South 56 and on 84th? And what about those sidedumpers on 33rd and O Street full of dirt? Is there something dirty going on?
    What is going on? It seems the Mayor’s staff doesn’t know what’s going on. You can tell that by the paperwork.
    And is it true that Dan Marvin is Warren Buffet’s nephew??

    Reply
    • Jul 17 2011

      I don’t know anything about where all the trucks are coming and going to, but I’m pretty sure Dan Marvin isn’t Buffett’s nephew… otherwise we would’ve gotten a better deal from BN!

      Reply
  4. Jane H Kinsey
    Jul 20 2011

    Is anyone keeping track of the mistakes the Arena Management is making and how much it is costing the taxpayers? The Watchdogs of Lincoln Government are going to do it. At least, as far as we can dig out of the propaganda the city puts out.

    Reply

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