• Winston asked the City to revise its lease payment to $1/year instead of the $197,245 it has been paying from the money it raised to support purchase of the Shores property.
• The City stated that $1 rent would constitute an illegal gift of public funds estimated at more than $10 million dollars, including a lease term extension. But if Winston could provide something of roughly equivalent value to the community, the rent and lease length could be adjusted. The City offered several possible ways to significantly reduce the lease obligations without it constituting a gift of public funds (listed below).
• The current lease could be extended from 55 to 80 years and the redevelopment obligation could be waived, an estimated value of $20 million to Winston.
• Winston could elect to reduce its footprint, thereby making the park larger.
• Winston could build 28 extra parking spaces for public use.
• Winston could build up to 3 affordable housing units on its site for school faculty or staff, thereby helping the City meet its housing goals
The Sandpiper will continue to pursue and report the facts on this important matter.