Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Regent strengthens proposal to pay back money owed to county

RIVERVIEW — In an effort to strengthen the Regent's proposal to pay back $35,000 it owes the county, the events center's board doubled the down payment it is willing to make.

"I believe it shows a good-faith effort on our board's behalf to work with the county and county commissioners to accomplish what they wish," Brandon Community Advantage Center board chairman David Lemar Jr. said Tuesday.

The proposal, which commissioners expect to vote on at today's County Commission meeting, increases the board's down payment from $5,000 to $10,000. The plan calls for the down payment to be paid by Oct. 1 with the remainder due by Dec. 31, 2013. A 4.75 percent interest rate will be applied.

"I think that's a great help and I look forward to success tomorrow," County Commissioner Al Higginbotham said Tuesday.

The decision to double the down payment came after looking at the events center's recent finances, Lemar said, which have been lagging since its opening in 2010.

"Operations this year did, so far, give us a little bit of extra money," Lemar said. For the most part, though, the center has been breaking-even, he said.

All the controversy, he said, hasn't helped.

There is hope, Lemar said, that approval of this deal will help the Regent move past the criticism it has received since opening.

"I'm hopeful that is the outcome here," Lemar said, "that this can be resolved in a civilized manner and we can go about the business of running that place for the community."

The $35,000 debt stems from a county audit that found the money was misspent, out of $2.5 million given from the county's community investment tax fund. The Regent received nearly $7 million in local, state and federal money for construction. In June, Regent officials had offered to repay the county $400 a month for seven years. Commissioners balked.

Besides outlining a plan to pay back the debt, the new proposal also requires the Regent to hold at least one community event per month at no charge and allows for commissioners to make two appointments to the Regent's board, making the board's meetings public under the state's Sunshine Law.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at or (813) 661-2442.

Regent strengthens proposal to pay back money owed to county 09/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation


    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead


    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.