$25M Grant? Where? – Update

September 24, 2023

UPDATE TO THE POST – It was recently learned that the planned dedicated gymnastics room was for women only. There was no plan to provide equipment or space for competitive men’s gymnastics equipment, only women’s. As a government, the District cannot provide amenities for only one gender. When was this going to be discovered and what could have been the financial impact on the District?

ORIGINAL POST:

There has been much said about the loss of a $25M grant. Below are some fact to consider.

Contained in the January 12th, 2022 Board of Trustees meeting materials was the letter of intent from the Foundation stating “this letter does not constitute a financial commitment“.

The approved memorandum of understanding (MOU) contained in the 2/9/22 board packet was for a conceptual design.

On 6/29/22 the BOT approved an “intent to enter into a Progressive Grant Agreement with the Duffield Foundation.”

On 7/27/22, the board approved an agreement with the Foundation stating the “grant funding…not to exceed $2,415,000 for design and preconstruction services.” The agreement stated “No Commitment: Neither party commits to the construction of the Expansion“. 

At the BOT meeting 9/14/22 there were 2 agenda items; 1 for the modified design and 1 for the letter of support. If any required voting rules were established, they would’ve had to have been made public; confidential conditions violate the Open Meeting Law. The design agenda item had no reference to unanimous support whereas the letter was clear. The design passed 4-1 with Trustee Schmitz dissenting and requesting the board appropriate funds to construct the project as originally designed, rather than reducing the scope that eliminated the multi-use gym and reduced the size of the youth areas. After the design vote, the board voted 5-0 to approve the letter of unanimous support for the project. Chair Callicrate thanked the Foundation for their generous donation. Plans were submitted to TRPA the next morning. A day later, the Foundation verbally terminated the contract. While the contract allowed for a “cure”, the board took no action. Click here for the meeting minutes.

In parallel: At the BOT 6/29/22 meeting a water main expansion to meet requirements of NLTFPD “for new development proposed at 1100 Ponderosa Ranch Road” was approved.  The site drawings, on page 4 of 5 of the .pdf, show the planned structure. On 8/4/2022, TRPA approved the gymnastics building at 1100 Ponderosa Ranch Road. The building at 1100 Ponderosa Road has been complete for months.

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