City Mgm't Tells Mayor/Council Two "Critical" Queen Mary Maintenance Issues Will Cost Approx. $7 Million With No Current Funds To Pay For Them; They're Among 8 Of 27 Repair Items Promised But Not Completed With Council's $23 Mil "Historic Preservation & Capital Investment Plan" (2016)
|(Sept. 23, 2019, 9:45 p.m.) -- City management has informed the Mayor/Council that despite a 2016 city management recommended/City Council-approved "Historic Preservation & Capital Investment Plan" that cost $23 million (reserves + debt bonds to be repaid by rent revenue/passenger fees from Carnival Cruise lines) to address 27 Queen Mary maintenance issues, 8 issues remain to be addressed without a current funding source and at least two of them are "critical" with a "preliminary" estimated cost of $7 million.
In addition, the Sept. 23, 2019 memo from Director of Economic Development John Keisler to Acting City Manager Tom Modica for the Mayor/Council reveals that a new issue has recently surfaced that may prove critical or urgent: a crack has been discovered in one of the wharf pilings. Management's memo indicates the City has funded an inspection of the conditions of all pilings and related structures for which a report is anticipated in the next several weeks (there's no currently estimated cost to address the issue yet.)
Management considers QM maintenance issues "urgent" that "need to be addressed but do not impact the immediate safety or structural integrity of the Queen Mary and that the City's inspecting engineer recommends being addressed within the next three to five years." It considers QM maintenance issues "critical" when they "have the greatest impact on the integrity and long-term preservation of the Queen Mary."
Management's memo says the City's inspecting engineer recommends that the City and Lessee [Urban Commons] prioritize two critical issues within the next 12-24 months:
[Scroll down for further.]
Management's memo didn't include an estimate of the costs of the "urgent" repairs that were supposed to be completed under the management recommended/Council-approved $23 mil 2016 "maintenance" plan. (For these items, it simply indicates "pending bids and identified funding source.")
City management's memo stated: "Although a funding source is yet to be identified, City staff have encouraged the Lessee to begin the process of project scoping and collecting estimated construction costs," It adds "City staff will work with the Lessee and its third-party structural engineer to prepare a plan for completing the remaining Critical Projects within the recommended two-year period. This plan, currently under development by the Lessee, will include strategies, costs, and timing for replacing the lifeboats and repairing the side shell of the ship in a historically appropriate way."
So who'll pay for this? City management's memo states:
Management's memo concludes: "Staff will continue to meet with the Lessee monthly to inspect maintenance, review construction plans, identify funding sources, and provide approvals as needed. Additionally, staff will continue to meet with the City Auditor on a quarterly basis to provide status reports on key elements of the Agreement."
Consistent with previous city staff reports on Queen Mary maintenance issues, the latest memo doesn't identify exactly who (by name) at LB City Hall knew or should have known about Queen Mary maintenance issues as they mounted over a period spanning multiple years. .
The City of LB's longest citywide officeholding-elected official is City Auditor Laura Doud, elected in 2006.
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