Del Mar Fairgrounds purchase: a breakdown of the bill so far

By Marlena Chavira-Medford

Staff Writer

What has the city of Del Mar spent so far toward the fairgrounds purchase?

To date, the city has spent $74,411 toward the fairgrounds acquisition for this fiscal year. The city projects it may spend another $83,292, for a total of $207,703.

Who is the city paying?

Right now the city has three active contracts, which include:

• Services from Orrick Herington & Sutcliffe LLP for bond counsel, with expenses capped at $50,000. Funding for that is coming from FY 2009-2010 budget for outside legal services. Should the state authorize Del Mar to buy the fairgrounds, that cap will increase to $150,000 — and should the city actually go through with the purchase of the fairgrounds, the $150,000 cap will be exceeded. Bound counsel expenses would be reimbursable if the city issued bonds.

• Services from Nossaman LLP for specialized legal services with expertise in state government. In October the city spent $15,000 for a one-month contract, which was paid out of the general fund contingency. That contract was extended in November for another $15,000, and again the money came from the general fund contingency. In January, the city entered a three-month contract at $10,000 per month. That will also be paid out of the general fund contingency.

• Services from the city attorney through Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz. Though the city has a monthly retainer, special projects, such as the fairgrounds purchase, are outside the retainer. The fairgrounds purchase was billed separately starting in August. As of December, the total billings for that project are $44,411. The projected total fiscal year billings are expected to be $97,703 based on average billings so far.

What’s next?

During its Jan. 24 meeting, city council amended FY 2009-2010 and FY 2010-2011 operating and capital budgets by transferring $150,000 from planning services to legal services for the fairgrounds purchase. That money from planning services was originally budgeted for the Downtown Revitalization EIR, but due to the desire to get more community input on that project, that project has been delayed — thereby making some funds available.

The council also authorized city manager Karen Brust to spend up to $150,000 for fairgrounds legal services beyond the authorizations already in the Orrick and Nossaman contracts.

   
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