Sorry, I try to read the various local papers every day and keep up with what is going on locally. I read an article in the June 30, 2010 Commercial Appeal that stated that the City’s contribution to Bass Pro was $30 million.
CA article by Amos Maki and Jody Callahan. “The deal calls for the city to pay $30 million toward construction and seismic retrofitting costs for The Pyramid, which the city will continue to own.”
I put in an open records request for emails between the City of Memphis and Bass Pro and I have attached the ones that I received from the City. There is one dated April 22, 2010 from Robert Lipscomb to Johnny Morris and Jim Hagale. This one states that the City of Memphis will invest a total of $50 million.
Am I missing something here between the $30 million in the CA article and the $50 million in the email? The April 22, 2010 email (page 31 of 33 of the attached emails) states in part “The City of Memphis will invest a total of Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000) into the Project. Twenty Million dollars ($20,000,000) will be used to fund the agreed upon “Warm Lit Shell” Task List and Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000) will be used to fund the agreed upon “Landlord Contribution” Task List.
Also I have another question. The City’s contribution is not supposed to impact the City’s budget as the City’s contribution will be financed by Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) bond financing. These are supposed to be revenue bonds which will be paid for by the incremental sales tax increases in the tourist development zone. This increased sales tax revenue is already pledged to fund a portion of the Cook Convention Center and the FedExForum. My question is this. “What if the incremental sales tax increase is not enough to fund the debt?” Are these full faith and credit bonds with the Memphis taxpayers standing behind the bonds or are they only secured by the incremental sale tax revenues in the TDZ zone?