If the Community Foundation guarantees $35 million in private donations backed by an underwritten letter of credit from a large financial institution or institutions approved by Greensboro's finance department, and the Lebauer's put up $5 million for a park, setting aside the other $5 million to take care of it without taxpayer help, total private investment in the project would be $40 million.
If the City of Greensboro doesn't borrow the $30 million, but invests some of the more than $270 million the city has in short term investments, operating losses and an endowment can be covered by the hotel and parking taxes that would have been used to pay principal and interest.
CFGG; $40 million
GSO; $30 million, instead of more than $50 million, if interest is not paid.
= $70 million investment with no debt, which would more than double the value of Greensboro taxpayer investment.
Where the $30 million is;
Greensboro's hidden $272,083,730 that was $273,932,356 last year
If the center planned to use about $675,000 per year from user fees and taxes for principal and interest, which I believe some of which involved amazing overestimations, the same income, which will most likely be somewhat less, could cover expected operating shortfalls and/or build an endowment for the center's upkeep, which currently doesn't seem to be factored into the plan.
With the following business model, Greensboro can create a direct investment into the economic vitality of our community while not increasing outstanding debt;
The Center would be run by a non-profit, and owned by city taxpayers, meaning the city would more than double the value of its investment at the outset.
The City of Greensboro would represent its share of the total investment on the board.
$30 million / $65 million = 46%, which means the private investment would fill 54% of the board at first.
As operating losses would be paid with taxes authorized by the city, the percentage of representation on the board going forward would fall as operating losses are funded with taxpayer monies.
Any unlikely gains would have the same effect, so board representation should shift over time, eliminating the stigma of an elite controlled enterprise.
Eliminate long term financial benefits for a select few;
A public/private project with mandatory turnover could make the Piedmont Triad the center of the next era of public/private economic development structure.
After 5 years, unless promoted, others in our community should have the opportunity for employment, as Greensboro's taxpayers funded the project.
Mandate 5 year staggered contracts for all employees including executive management and board members, service providers (audit, accounting etc...) and vendors, after which positions would be allocated to new, different employees or volunteers from throughout our community.
After 5 years, staff should know how to manage a business and move on unless promoted from within.
After 5 years, low level management should know how to manage a large performing arts center.
Executive pay wouldn’t exceed 4 times the average hourly wage of those employed at the facility, the idea being to maximize the incomes of the employees as much as possible, to create higher rates of economic and income growth in our community.
In other words, a business model that would help fight income and wealth inequality that would blow away current models that keep small groups of insiders at the helm or in control of hiring decisions.
Put it to a vote on the ballot in November to achieve acceptance from Greensboro's community that would end up paying more over time than the matching private investment.