Restaurant Vote Still in Limbo

BLYTHEWOOD – In the second of two executive sessions in a special called meeting on Monday night, Town Council continued to discuss negotiations incident to a proposed lease agreement with Jonathan Bazinet for a restaurant the Town Council proposes to build on the grounds of the park across from the Town Hall. No member of Council nor Mayor J. Michael Ross have revealed how they think former Administrator John Perry’s resignation might impact the future of the restaurant.

Present for the almost hour-long executive session in addition to the Mayor and Council were Ray Jones, an attorney with Parker Poe who drew up the restaurant lease agreement; Mike Tighe, a principal with Callison, Tighe and Robinson and Ed Parler, the Town Hall’s economic development consultant. No vote was taken following the executive session.

At issue currently is whether a performance bond is needed to guarantee lease payments on the restaurant. On Nov. 25, shortly after three new Councilmen were sworn into office, the three new members (Massa, Mangone and Utroska) caused the second reading of the lease agreement to be deferred, saying they felt the agreement should include a performance bond to protect the Town against any failures of Bazinet to make lease payments. The lease payments go to the Town to pay back construction loans on the building. Bazinet has agreed to guarantee lease payments for five years and his family’s corporation, Red Fox Development, Inc. would guarantee lease payments for 10 years. Councilman Mangone wanted more than the guarantee. After much discussion, Council agreed to defer the vote to a later time.

The next meeting of Town Council is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 16.

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