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who's counting?
BY
nelson thibodeaux

 

Dateline: Colleyville, Monday March 11, 2002 5:35 PM

 how does the city of colleyville account for private money spent on a public building?

As a follow up to the LNO article "City Council Apologizes", posted on February 28, 2002, concerning the former Couch property, (CLICK HERE TO SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE), LNO stated plans to request, via Open Records, documents concerning the construction cost.

The property was leased to the developer of the Villages for $10 per month and Councilman Ginny Tigue said the lease amount was justified because the developer spent $15,000 on improvements.  The developer, Richard Myers, was quoted by the Dallas Morning News as having spent $25,000.

Since the Couch property is public property, LNO requested the city produce documents that would clarify the funds spent.

The records on the building were requested as follows:

LNO is requesting the details, including copies of invoices or any other documentation pertaining to the improvements to this city owned building by Mr. Myers or his companies.  In specific, we are requesting an accounting of the private funds spent on this public building by Mr. Myers and/or his companies and any public funds that have been spent for the same building.

The original lease is dated January 22, 2002 and signed by Mayor Donna Arp and Richard Myers.  In addition to the $10 per month lease rate, the lease document contained Exhibit A listing the items the tenant will renovate.

Click Here to see Exhibit A to the Lease Agreement
The exhibit lists 8 items.

LNO made the request on February 27, 2002 and was notified on March 8, 2002 that the information was available to pick up at City Hall.

The documents supplied by the city show a permit request received by the City of Colleyville stamped January 8, 2002.  This date for a permit request is 2 weeks prior to the lease document being executed by Mayor Arp.

In response to its request, LNO received 5 items as follows:

1.) Original Permit Request - Click Here
The document signed by Jimmy Archie, VP of Realty Capital requests a permit to install a wall, w/ electrical, paint and carpet.  It lists the total area being remodeled is 1,290 sq.ft with an estimated value of $4,500.

The original lease listed the property as having a total of 1,464 sq.ft.  While the lease had not been signed, the note on the bottom of the request notes, "Issue permit per Diane (sic) McWethy" with a handwritten date of 1-12-01.

2.) Permit Charge - Click Here
This document reflects the permit charge of $151.25 approved and a permit date of January 10, 2001.

3.) Permit Receipt - Click Here
This documents appears to be a receipt for the amount above.

4.) Electrical Inspection -
Click Here
This is a copy of an electrical inspection by the City of Colleyville indicating 13 light openings, 1 switch and 8 plugs and a fee of $46.96

5.) Notes - Click Here
This document is supplied without comment includes the copy of a contractor business card and a hand written address of Realty Capital.

These are the only documents the city supplied under an inclusive Open Records Act request.  There is no explanation why permits were issued prior to the executed date of the lease on a public building or further documentation of the estimated numbers quoted by Councilman Tigue of $15,000 or Mr. Myers of $25,000.

LNO has emailed the following requesting further explanation:

Jimmy Archie, VP Development Realty Capital

jwarchie@realtycapital.com
 
March 11, 2002

Mr. Archie, below is a direct link to the LNO article concerning the funds expended on the public property leased by you, formerly known as the Couch Property.  LNO has been unable to document the $25,000 in improvements as noted by Mr. Myers.  We would appreciate further clarification on this issue and why the permit was requested prior to the lease documents being signed by Mayor Arp.  

Publisher LNO

Ginny Tigue, Councilman Place 5, Mayor Pro-Tem
tigueg@ci.colleyville.tx.us
March 11, 2002

When voting to renew the lease on the property, formerly known as the Couch property, you stated that the developer had been given a $10 per month lease previously partly because he had done $15,000 in improvements.  LNO has been unable to document the expenditures from city records and is hereby requesting your assistance to document these expenditures.  Thank you in advance for your assistance.  The link below will direct you to the March 11, 2002 article on LNO.

Publisher LNO

Bill Lindley, City Manager Colleyville, Texas
lindleyw@ci.colleyville.tx.us
March 11, 2002

Bill
LNO has run a series of articles on the Couch property purchased by the city.  The latest article is in the matter of the discrepancy concerning the improvement amount to this property. In our Open Records request LNO was provided only with five documents, all in reference to a permit for $4,500.  We would appreciate being able to report how the improvement dollar amount was verified on this public property and an explanation of how permits were requested on January 8, 2001, issued on January 10, 2001 and the lease was not signed until January 22,2001.  Thank you for your assistance.

Publisher LNO

LNO will post the responses, unedited, upon receipt and a follow up to these additional questions concerning the Couch property. 

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