The City's Still Trying to Skate on Southern Skates, But HUD Will Have Last Word
Park and Rec, which wound up with the facility when former Black Panther Fahim Minkah defaulted on a $400,000 loan years ago, could still wind up operating Southern Skates -- but only Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway appears keen on that idea. Vonciel Jones Hill wants it closed, while the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development, which actually funded the thing with a $500,000 loan, just wants its money back; hence, its heavy hand in instructing City Hall how to take bids from for-profits or nonprofits interested in an all-skate. HUD's guidelines and demands, hashed out with city officials since last this was on the agenda, are strict: three- to five-year leases; two years of prior roller-rink experience for for-profits; nonprofits must return to HUD any extra coin not necessary for emergency reserves or repairs; and so forth. But nothing can even be considered till bids are advertised, proposals are pondered and public hearings are heard.