Newsletter May 15, 2019
The University Park Recreation District (“UPRD”) continues making progress towards our goal of acquiring our community’s golf course, club, and recreational facilities (“RF”), a goal overwhelmingly supported by homeowners. To that end at its meeting on May 10, 2019 the Board approved a one-time special assessment of $1,000 per home to fund UPRD operations and litigation expenses imposed upon the community by Mr. Garrett’s lawsuit. This assessment would not have been necessary had we acquired the RF, as planned, and funded operations from Club revenues.
In addition, the Board decided to explore the potential to purchase the RF now using a bond anticipation note (“BAN”). A BAN does not require validation, so a BAN could be sold over the next 60-days providing funds to purchase the RF. If successful, this may render Mr. Garrett’s lawsuit moot.
Mr. Garrett and others who call themselves “UP Concerned Residents” or “Neighbors United” continue to provide incorrect information and make misleading allegations. None of the most recent allegations emailed on May 13, 2019 contain anything new. Instead, they continue to repackage their old grievances which have been addressed on several occasions by the Board. Below we address their latest allegations.
(1) Price of purchasing the RF is $16,975,000 as clearly shown in the Purchase and Sale Agreement posted to our website prior to the bond referendum. This has not changed. The price includes $16,725,000 for the assets and $250,000 to reimburse the Sellers for planning, due diligence, and acquisition costs incurred by the Planning Group.
(2) The financing plan has always been to issue debt, supported by special assessments, in an amount not to exceed $24,000,000. UPRD has approved special assessment sufficient to fund this acquisition.
(3) UPRD planned to sell the debt in the first half of 2019 with debt service averaging $1,200 per home to begin in fiscal year 2019-20. The costs to operate UPRD would be paid from the net operating income of the club, so no assessments for operations and maintenance of UPRD were anticipated.
(4) Mr. Garrett’s lawsuit prevented UPRD from executing its plan.
(5) In response, as noted above, UPRD plans to collect a one-time special assessment of $1,000 per home to fund operations and maintenance, and pay litigation costs. This assessment would be unnecessary had we been able to acquire the RF. Any extra costs incurred are the result of Mr. Garrett’s lawsuit, and renegotiation of the purchase and sale agreement to address delays and costs incurred by that lawsuit.
(6) Prior to his engagement with UPRD Dr. Fishkind disclosed his prior relationship with the Neal organization. Dr. Fishkind’s engagement with UPRD was and is his only fiduciary client. Allegations to the contrary are unsubstantiated and untrue. As is customary, PFM and Dr. Fishkind are working on a combination of flat fee rates and hourly rates depending on the nature of the service rendered. The Board has full confidence in him and in PFM.
(7) The suggestion that Dr. Fishkind charges UPRD for the cost to fly his own plane illustrates the type of inflammatory misinformation promulgated by the Concerned Residents. Not only is this claim untrue, but it would violate Florida law governing travel expenses.
(8) The appraisal issue is nothing but a red herring, trotted out often by Concerned Residents. The appraisal was not conducted for UPRD, nor is an appraisal required by law. Furthermore, the appraiser, HVS, is one of the most reputable firms in the industry having appraised over 30 Florida golf courses. However, the HVS appraisal does not and cannot reflect the value of RF to the community, nor did it consider the value of the land for residential development. The community is not purchasing the RF because it is a high return business venture. Instead, the RF is integral to the lifestyle and the home values in University Park. This is why over 80% of homeowners voted to purchase the RF.
(9) The claim by Concerned Residents that the pro forma financials, developed by two highly respected and extraordinarily experienced financial experts living in University Park, are unreliable is strongly rejected. This issue was addressed again in detail at our last public workshop, where Mr. Mantia and Mr. Crouch reviewed their credentials and provided detailed explanations. They answered all questions from an audience that included Concerned Residents.
The District is concerned that a very small group of residents who are opposed to URPD can put forth incorrect information and allegations. The District is the best means to acquire the Country Club and preserve it as a recreational amenity for University Park. UPRD is steadfast in its commitment to acquire the RF for the good of our community.