Potrero Interchange Community Meeting Thursday Jan 18, 2018
Beaumont Staff & Council will Explain how they ‘Approved’ a $14 Million Contract when they collected less than $8 Million for the Project.
Correction: The Beaumont Capital Improvement Project Citizens Blue Ribbon Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting Special Session is scheduled for 6:00 pm: https://beaumont.civicweb.net/…
The Potrero Interchange Meeting is not listed on the Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting’s schedule. According to the City; there were two separate Meetings scheduled for 6:00 pm, so the Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting will proceed at 6pm and the Potrero Interchange Meeting with follow.
The City of Beaumont have a Potrero Interchange Community Meeting scheduled for today, Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 6pm: Potrero Interchange Community Meeting Thursday 6pm
For those unfamiliar with Beaumont; the Potrero Interchange is the scam that Beaumont Staff and Council used to funnel $13 Million out of the CFD Bonds between 2010-2015.
Did Beaumont Staff and Council file a Complaint with the State and/or Federal Authorities to report the Fraud and Embezzlement?
No. Beaumont Staff and Council have chosen to cover up the past illegal activity and continue the scam. And the Potrero Interchange is nothing but a scam on the Citizens of Beaumont.
It’s a waste of time and money for the City of Beaumont to be involved with the Potrero Interchange. Once the Interchange is constructed – it will become the property of the State, not the City.
Beaumont Staff and Council proclaim that Potrero isn’t costing the City any money – the Developers are going to pay for an Asset that’s going to be transferred to the State, which begs the question; why?
Why would Developers put up their own money to build the State’s Assets? The theory that there’s nobody in Riverside County or in Caltrans to bribe to get the Interchange build is ridiculous.
But Developers around Beaumont have put up $8 Million. The money has been deposited in a separate Bank Account, but all the expenses for the Potrero Interchange are still coming out of Beaumont’s General Fund.
And the $8 Million paid by Developers to build the Potrero Interchange isn’t in exchange for the Developers’ Mitigation Fees, right?
Surely the City didn’t make a dirty deal with Developers that will result in not having Mitigation Fees to build the needed Infrastructure like Beaumont Staff did and ‘Council Approved’ for Heartland’s 997 Houses, did they??
On January 2, 2018, the Beaumont City Council Approved a $14 Million Contract to Ortiz Construction for the Potrero Interchange: https://beaumont.civicweb.net/document/10766/Item%2013.pdf?handle=5004DCEDD0DD4226AA0BAFB7C567F6FE
$8 Million minus $14 Million equals a $6 Million Deficit.
At the January 2nd Meeting Beaumont City Councilman Lloyd White asked Public Works Director Amer Jakher if the Developers had ‘come up with the gap’.
Jakher proceeded to claim that ‘the gap’ was what the Developers were paying, not the difference between the cost of the Project and what the Developers are paying.
No. Incorrect. The ‘gap’ is the difference between the cost of the Project and what the Developers were willing to pay, which is $6 Million just to cover the one Construction Contract. There’s no money to cover the millions wasted on Lawyers, Consultants, and of course funneling more money to Ernie Egger through his college friend Jimmy Sims that works at Mark Thomas.
Councilman White then brings up the Federal Funding for Potrero. “We have $13.4 Million in Federal Funding money that we lose if we don’t do this project.”
First of all; it’s not the City’s money to lose. The Potrero Interchange will NEVER be the City’s Asset.
But more importantly; Federal Funding is a REIMBURSEMENT if there are qualifying Receipts and Invoices.
Not only does the Citizens of Beaumont have to pay the money up front, but they will only be reimbursed for legitimate Invoices for brick and mortar construction. There’s no reimbursement for fraudulent payments to lawyers and consultants.
$13 Million funneled out of the CFD Bonds between 2010-2015 with the memo ‘Potrero Interchange’. Not one person is fired. Beaumont Staff and Council never file a Complaint with the State and Feds for Fraud and Embezzlement.
Beaumont City Council ‘Approve’ continuing the Potrero Interchange Scam even after it’s proven that the only thing the City has to show for the $13 Million are glossy flyers.
Beaumont City Council ‘Approve’ continuing to funnel money to the same set of Crooks that were only Urban Logic’s payroll.
Council ‘Approves’ a $14 Million when they only collected $8 Million from the Developers.
Beaumont’s 2016 Audited Financial Statements once again reveal that the City itself has no Capital Assets because Beaumont Staff and Council have stolen all the money allocated to build Infrastructure.
Now Beaumont’s Staff and Council are having a Meeting to explain to the Citizens why the City is wasting their time and money building Caltran’s Asset.
And what is the big ’emergency’ in the southwest section of Beaumont that demands the Potrero Interchange?
Millions and Millions of square feet of Warehouses.
Where’s the ‘Nowaygateway’ crowd when you need them?
We know where two of them are; they’re sitting on the Beaumont City Council. How’s that for hypocrisy?
46:00 Agenda Item 11: Potrero Interchange $14 Million Contract to Ortiz Construction:
59:00 White: The dollar amount is almost $14 Million. There are people out there who… We have all new Council Members, we have all new Staff, we have all new Department Heads and we are moving forward in a different direction than what we have done before. But because this is $14 Million; you’re going to have people like Ms. Kimball who are going to complain that we’re taking more of their money. Every time this comes up I need to take that opportunity to remind people, and so you can confirm this for me is that we originally sunk into this Project when Mr. Kapanicas and Urban Logic were in control of the City over $11 Million and we’ve paid way too much for the design phase. But the $11 Million was sunk into the Project and gone. We have – how much do we have in Federal Funding in this Project that’s available for it?
Jakher: $13.4 Million.
1:00:00 White: So we have $13.4 Million in Federal Funding money that we lose if we don’t do this Project.
Jakher: That is correct.
White: The reason I bring this up is because Mr. Lara and I were on the Council and then Ms. Carroll and Mr. Martinez came on when we as a Council decided it. Mr. Lara and I were definitely against this Project, but we decided that we would put out there that the Property Owners who are going to gain the most from this Project would have to come up with the gap, we were not going to put any more City money. We already sunk $11 Million in and we’re not going to go back to the people and ask for taxes, we weren’t going to go back and ask for CFD; we were putting this all on the Developers to come up with the gap funding. Did they come put wit the gap funding?
Jakher: Developers have come up with the gap.
White: And how much is the gap funding?
1:01:00 Jakher: The gap funding was estimated at $8.5 Million. One of the Developers did not deposit , so we received $8.1 Million of the $8.5, and that’s sufficient to cover the cost of this Project.
White: I think it’s important that we continue at every opportunity that we can to let the people know that this is a Project is not costing the City any more – we’ve paid too much for it upfront. But we do not receive any of the Federal Funding and we are willing to, as a Council, we were willing to let the Federal Funding wither away, but we decided that if the Property Owners wanted to pay the gap that we would move forward with this Project. So I think it’s important that every time we bring up a $14 Million price tag that we also remind people that the City has not put any more after we sunk the money that we were already required to – required is not the right word, but you know what I’m going with this.
1:02:00 Jakher: And also, as part of the WRCOG Settlement, we were able to take Phase I off of it and lower the total contribution that’s coming out of town to only Phase II. So that $14 Million that we did spend went, in a way, towards to the investment that the City had done in-lieu of paying TUMF Fees. So the improvements that we’ve done overall in the City; this was part of it that was included in the Projects that the City had done.
White: Okay, thank you.
Carroll: I think that what Council Member White pointed out was a very good point that we can’t say often enough, which is that it was critical to not go into the pockets of the Citizens. To go ahead and continue it with the money that was already put into it. But I also want to add a detail, which is that it was brought up earlier that we would be a better balanced City if we had an economic development, retail, restaurants, whatever, to support the taxpayer where we didn’t rely too much on our residents and reach into their pockets for extra tax money. And if this Project goes forward successfully without reaching into the pocket of our citizens on this point; there will be potential commercial development that will add more diversity to the tax base that will enable us to do other things for the City and to strengthen the City with tax dollars that are more diverse and that part of this Project will certainly be good. Especially if we can do it in a way that is better than the way it was approached in the past.