Eagle Point project on hold

I read about the Inn at Eagle Point project with interest. I would like to know if there is or was a completion or performance bond so that the project will go on if the developer can't carry out the project. If not, why?

­— Jerry W., Eagle Point

Work has been suspended on the $25 million resort between Alta Vista Road and Eagle Point Golf Course.

Eagle Point City Administrator David Hussell said the municipality does not impose a completion bond on any private development in the city.

"We do require warranty bonding on all projects including private development and require performance bonds on public projects," Hussell said. "I do not know of any city in this state that would require a bond on private investment projects."

In such case, a city holding the bond would be the responsible party to complete that project, he said: "If it was a public project, the investment would be in the direct public interest and ownership."

The Inn at Eagle Point is a private venture, Hussell said, and the city has no legal right to enter the property or the right to extract the ownership of the project from the original investor.

"Nor would it be in the best public interest to insert the public interest into a private venture," Hussell said. "Calling in a performance bond on private work would theoretically require the city to be the owner of that project. That would not be our intent on any private investment in our community nor do I believe it to be legal."

The City Council recently authorized installation of nine street lights that were part of the condition imposed when the project was approved. Hussell estimated it would cost between $10,000 and $11,000 to put the lights in. The city pays the light bill once they're in place.

"We'll put in the street lights and then put a lien against the project," Hussell said. "If someone other than (R.W. Hertel & Sons) finishes the project, then they will be responsible to put it in. Bonding doesn't kick in until the improvement is completed. It's all private until (the infrastructure work) is accepted by the city.

"In our case, we bond for 12 months to ensure everything is appropriate," the administrator said. "So if a street falls apart or a water line breaks, we will notice the owner. If it doesn't get fixed, we'll pull a bond to make sure it's done."

The project's status remains up in the air.

"Whether the current owner will continue or sell is unclear," Hussell said. "Projects in our community that have development approval have two years to show substantial effort or lose their development approval."

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