The following article was published in the Pensacola News Journal on August 3, 2011:
Park board eyes Studers’ side
The Community Maritime Park Associates staff members on Tuesday evening distributed to board members a gift agreement that says businessman Quint Studer and his wife, Rishy, agree to contribute a total of $2.25 million to Maritime Park improvements to fulfill the park’s master lease agreement.
The CMPA board will consider the proposed gift agreement at today’s special meeting.
At issue is an internal dispute over whether the Studers had agreed to contribute a total of $2.25 million or $4.3 million to the project.
The park’s master lease agreement says the Studers agree to contribute $2.25 million to the University of West Florida for the maritime museum project, and in the event that the museum does not go forward the money would be applied to public improvements on the Maritime Park site. UWF decided in March not to move forward with the museum.
On Jan. 31, Studer agreed to provide what his attorney, Bob Hart, called “an additional $2.05 million” to help pay for $5.2 million in stadium enhancements needed to bring the facility up to Double−A baseball standards.
CMPA Attorney Ed Fleming believes these were two separate financial commitments totaling $4.3 million. Studer had said the $2.05 million was part of what was to be a total commitment of $2.25 million. Studer since has committed to contributing an additional $200,000 to fulfill the master lease.
“The parties are executing this (gift) agreement to enable CMPA to have the necessary funding to complete construction of the public improvements, and to enable the Studers to have confidence that their generous gift will be used to fulfill their charitable intent,” reads the agreement, which originally was drafted last week and proposed to CMPA staff members by Studer’s attorney, Scott Remington.
The Studers will provide $2.25 million today, according to the agreement. “The gift shall be restricted and used exclusively for completion of construction of the public improvements in the park,” the gift agreement states.
Public improvements, as defined in the master lease, includes the stadium.
“CMPA acknowledges that the Studers’ donation tendered pursuant to this agreement satisfies any and all pledges, whether oral or written, made by the Studers to CMPA for construction of the public improvements at the park, including any obligation under the master lease,” the gift agreement states.
Want to go?
» WHAT: Community Maritime Park Associates board special meeting.
» WHEN: 3 p.m. today.
» WHERE: Second floor conference room, City Hall, 222 W. Main St., downtown Pensacola.
INSIDE: EDITORIAL: CMPA OWES THE PUBLIC A CLEAR EXPLANATION