December 11, 2002
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers
3rd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, December 11, 2002, in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E.W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Jim D. N. Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis, and The Honorable Tameika C. Isaac.  Also present were Ms. Leona K. Plaugh, City Manager and Ms. Pamela J. Ferst, Acting City Clerk.



A. Convention Center Update - Mr. Steve Camp

Mr. Steve Camp, Midlands Regional Convention Center Authority, told Council that they are in the process of site preparation for the Convention Center.  Mr. Camp stated that it is difficult to sell something that can’t be seen.  He said they are focusing on attracting state associations and regional meetings to this facility.  He informed Council that the hotel needs to open in conjunction with the Convention Center and if it doesn’t he might only book four (4) groups early on.  Mr. Camp explained that it’s best to have the front door of a hotel at least 400 feet from the entrance of the Convention Center.  He thanked the members of Council for supporting the Convention Center.

A1. **Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau – Request for Funding

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the disbursement of $60,000 from the Accommodations Tax Fund to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau to enable the Bureau to complete programs and tasks during the 2002 / 2003 fiscal year.

A2. Convention Center Hotel Developer Selection (Item W. on Regular Agenda)

Mr. Jerry McClendon, Strategic Advisory Group, told Council that both developers are proposing 300-room hotels of similar quality and cost.  Mr. McClendon explained that the John Q. Hammons proposal is privately owned, financed and developed, but the Edens & Avant proposal is a city-sponsored proposal so it can be value engineered to the price you want.  Mr. McClendon informed Council that a headquarters hotel next to a convention center typically has more meeting space, which generates more revenue.  He stated that both teams have agreed in principle to follow the City of Columbia’s Commercial Non-Discrimination Policy and Subcontracting Outreach issues.  Mr. McClendon also informed Council that both teams have indicated a willingness to enter into a Room Block Agreement.  He stated that both financial structures pay for the entire project including the hotel, land and parking.  Mr. McClendon informed Council that the main difference between the proposals relates to the City’s risk position.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted two (2) in favor of and four (4) opposed to the selection of the privately funded option and not put citizens in a financial risk.  Voting aye were Ms. Sinclair and Mr. Osborne.  Voting nay was Mr. Cromartie, Mr. Davis, Ms. Isaac and Mayor Coble.  Mr. Papadea abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted five (5) to one (1) to select Edens & Avant as the Convention Center Hotel Developer with the caveat that a final agreement is negotiated and authorized staff and the consultants to strengthen the 1.3-times debt service.  Voting aye were Mr. Cromartie, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Davis, Ms. Isaac and Mayor Coble.  Voting nay was Ms. Sinclair.  Mr. Papadea abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.

B. Review:  Ordinance No.: 2002-057 - Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 24, Vehicles for Hire, Article IV, Wrecker and Towing Services, Sec. 205 through Sec. 215
 This item was held over, no action was taken.

C. Proposed Real Estate Sales & Acquisition Policy – Mr. Jim Meggs
 This item was held over, no action was taken.
D. Legislative Issues 2003 – Ms. Shirley Gossett, Legislative Liaison
 This item was held over, no action was taken.
Mayor Coble adjourned the Work Session at 11:30 p.m.

· Mr. Cromartie left the meeting at 11:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Pamela J. Ferst, CPS
Acting City Clerk