Often times when the Mammoth Lakes Town Council emerges from a closed session meeting after a regular Town Council meeting, there is no one left in the room to hear about any actions that may have been taken. This is generally because 99 percent of the time Council has nothing to report at the end of a closed session meeting. Such was not the case, however, on March 3. Council announced that they had approved a settlement agreement with Intrawest, according to a press release from the Town that was sent out today.
“For over two years, under threatened litigation, the Town and Intrawest have been working to close out all outstanding obligations that Intrawest had pending, from several projects that had been developed between 1997 and 2004. The issues required replacing surety bonds with fees, replacing construction requirement bonds with cash, completing construction of three bridges over Mammoth Creek, recording a deed restriction against the Kitzbuhel site to ensure that the property is used for affordable housing, and maintaining a performance bond on the construction of Grove Road (East Bear Lake Drive),” the release stated.
Assistant Town Manager Karen Johnston clarified over the phone that it was Intrawest threatening litigation against the Town. The developer was contesting the obligations the Town claimed they had.
“It seems silly since these things were written into the conditions of approval for the projects they were building,” Johnston said, “but that was the case. We eventually agreed that they did owe us these things.” The projects Intrawest was building during the times listed included Juniper Crest, the Timbers, Mammoth Green and the Village.
The press release went on to say, “The terms of the Agreement are that Intrawest will pay $575,000 cash equaling the exact value of the bonds plus an in-lieu value of constructing the required bridges, record the deed restriction against the Kitzbuhel and replace the Grove Road performance bond with an Indemnity Agreement protecting the Town from any potential construction defaults. One of the bonds relates to fees owed to the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District.”
According to Johnston, the Town had to concede to cash from Intrawest to build the outstanding facilities.
“We wanted them to build the facilities, what we got was cash, which puts the burden on the Town to build the facilities,” she said. The Town will also be responsible for maintaining these facilities, but according to Johnston that was always the case, the Town did not concede anything there.
The Fire District will receive $184,000 of the $575,000, which is exactly what they were owed, Johnston said.
She went on to say that the Town was simply trying to close out the books on Intrawest obligations since the company was not actively developing in Mammoth and could walk away at any time.
In the press release Mayor McCarroll commented, that “we are happy to finally resolve all of the Intrawest issues in a manner favorable to the Town and the Fire District.” Implementation of the various terms of the agreement will be completed by June 1, 2010.