The Park Creek Metropolitan District (PCMD) has agreed to pay the Westerly Creek Metro District’s (WCMD) costs for independent legal counsel. To that end, PCMD in April approved an amended WCMD budget setting aside $40,000 for legal counsel. In January, WCMD dismissed Paul Cockrel as its attorney and hired Jennifer Tanaka of the law firm White Bear Ankele Tanaka & Waldron. Cockrel, of Collins Cockrel & Cole, will continue to serve as PCMD attorney.
PCMD, however, took no action on WCMD’s budget request for funds to pay an independent financial advisor. WCMD chair Tom Downey said at the district’s May 17 meeting that the district would pursue pro bono financial advice from underwriters as the board weighs various financial matters such as additional debt issued to finance Stapleton infrastructure. Denver recently requested a financial model from PCMD showing payment of debt over the next 10 years. That model projects issuance of nearly $400 million in additional debt, in part to pay off loans provided by Stapleton developer Forest City.
The two districts were created in 2000 to fund and construct infrastructure for the redevelopment of the abandoned Stapleton Airport. Westerly Creek is a resident-dominated board that imposes property taxes to generate revenue to pay for the infrastructure. Park Creek is solely responsible for the financing and construction of the infrastructure. The relationship between the districts appears to be changing as Stapleton approaches build-out.
Also at the May 17 meeting, Downey said he wants to rectify what he considers an improper payment of approximately $2,600 to Cockrel for services allegedly rendered to WCMD after his dismissal in January. The check was issued by SDC Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides management services to both WCMD and PCMD and the Stapleton Development Corporation. The January 31 and February 28 invoices show approximately 14 hours of work for WCMD after he was dismissed. Downey believes that should not have been billed or paid and it is taxpayer money that should be returned.