“Do you really need parking for 200 trucks?” someone asked.
“It is easier to over build it now than to try to figure out how you are going to expand it later; let one process handle it all. We believe that with all the over the road trucks on 301 and with the expected increase because of highway improvements in Delaware, a major truck stop is needed,” Lorrie replied.
“You need an exit ramp over 214 heading north to connect traffic to 301; it will take decades for the state to agree and fund that,” the local state highway manager said.
“In order to save time and be able to make reliable statements for this presentation tonight, JBG short circuited the process and went directly to the executive level of the state highway administration in Annapolis and to the Governor. We did that because we knew that it would take decades working from the local level, going up the ladder,” I replied.
“Our corporate attorneys negotiated a letter of agreement with the State today stating that JBG could build the exit ramp as long as we used a state approved contractor and submitted the plans for review. Those plans will be completed and the bore testing completed within thirty days,” I added.
“What are you going to do with the sewage from the site? There is no sewage plant on the model or did you forget that tidbit?” the local environmental activist from the Bay Foundation asked.
“We haven’t approached the two local towns to work that out,” I replied, then was loudly and rudely interrupted by the Cville town manager.
“Cville will not have anything to do with the sewage from this project, so don’t ask,” he stated.
“As I stated, we have not formally approached Qtown to negotiate a sewage agreement yet. The agreement we are going to offer them is that JBG will pay for the necessary piping plus give them a five million dollar grant to upgrade the sewer plant to handle the increase,” I said.
Qtown had just completed a new sewer plant a few years ago and it was in trouble already. Growth had been more than anticipated and sewage flow at the time under estimated when in the design process. It was exceeding the plant capacity and was close to violating the discharge quality the state would allow.
The plant was a modular design that could be easily upgraded as demand grew. The problem was funding; they had used all available state and federal grants and were not eligible for ten years for another. The only way was to raise town taxes substantially or sell bonds, not a good prospect for politicians. The grant would cure that problem and have money left over.
We also knew that we were running to the wire with the sewage system we had put in for Morton with the addition of the Crash Motel; we were having the system pumped every few days now instead of a couple times a month.
The pipes to the truck stop would come not only by Morton but the gun club, allowing a cure for that problem millions of dollars cheaper than building a new sewage plant. Getting discharge permits from state could take years if the bay nuts fought it.
The water tower at Morton could supply the water to the new project. They would only need the sewage pipe run from the town to Morton and then two pipes for the rest of the way.
We always looked at the big picture when we made plans.
Qtown manager Kurt Allen didn’t hesitate; he walked directly to me. He saw a solution to their problems and did not need anyone to explain it.
“We can do a gentleman’s handshake agreement on your offer tonight, if you like, and consider it a contract,” he said as he extended his hand, and I did.
“Wait a minute; I may have been a bit hasty in rejecting that offer so outright. The town elders may be interested,” Cville’s manger said. His phone had been getting texts like crazy.
“It’s hard to retract a statement like that when you put your foot so deep down your throat in such a public manner,” I replied.
Cville was in a twist all of its own making; for years the town had remained a small town county seat and the old town politicians wanted to keep it that way.
Growth had been restricted by a variety of methods; the growth took place outside of the town limits. As a result, town taxes went up every year. The old political clique slowly died off or they were finally booted out of office; with that, change came.
A strip mall shopping center came and there were two developments; one on the north end of town, a bedroom community of several hundred houses. The owners mostly worked the western shore and commuted but voted in the local elections.
The other was on the south end of town. It was a retirement community by a national developer. The residents were 55 and older, very wealthy, well educated and were from all over and used to getting their way; the usual money and power influence. They voted. Both developments were annexed into the town for sewage and water.
The six people for the town council included four members from those two communities. I expected the retirement community to fight to stop the project.
“Kurt, stop by the office and pick up a two million dollar check as a good faith advance on the project,” I said in front of the county council and media.
If they cashed the check the deal was done for sure. The only way Cville could stop it then would be to annex the property into town, which I doubted they would do. But then I had a counter for that.
A few more questions from Elmo and Hanna, then a group picture with the commissioners. I was surprised when the commissioners wanted a group picture of us all shaking hands around the display.
We had just stepped into the house when all of our phones went crazy with texts; Ching Lee had sent a few pictures and wanted a VCATS conversation.
Ching Lee filled us in on two days of happenings. The audit on the books was not going good at all. Lexi Morgan had found discrepancies, big ones. The number of days, weeks and weekend rentals were properly recorded in the backup set of books Tammy Tittles kept at the island.
The set of books the group used at the sale and matching deposits were different. One would have thought they would have been elevated to show they were making good money.
Just the opposite was true; all the guest numbers and corresponding receipts were reduced by four visitors each week. At the price they were charging that was $32,000 a week or $128,000 a month during the season. They still would not have been making any money but nowhere near the losses they were showing.
The credit card transactions and approvals for the guests to stay were processed at their Florida office. Someone in the office was skimming money from the Cay account.
It did not change our purchase but Lexi was going to turn over her findings to an IRS friend after we finalized the purchase. Getting the IRS and Florida’s State attorney involved before that could tie up the sale for months.
After that bit of news we started on the more pleasurable things; pictures! There were lots of pictures in the emailed file. There were plenty of pictures suitable to use in the ad campaign. All the ladies and gents who went were perfect examples of beautiful people having fun in the sun, sand, snorkeling and fishing; the things ad campaigns are made of.
Everybody was obviously having as lot of fun with and without swimsuits or topless. Sadly for them, they were coming home Friday afternoon. The rest of us along with invited guests were flying there early Friday morning. The jet was going to lay over until late Friday to give them a full week there. Ching Lee was of course staying for another long family weekend.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.