The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors moved closer to approving $56 million for the Pensacola Airport’s Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) project. The board spent about an hour and a half discussing the complicated nature of the agreements and actually had to take a recess, so counsel could review and answer questions raised by board members.
One issue that caused some heartburn among board members was that the entire $56 million commitment for the MRO project would have to come from the initial $300 million payment that has been made from BP. The board initially wanted to structure the agreement where payments would be made over a number of years and from future payments that will be made by BP. However, the Triumph board received legal word that committing funds from future payments to current projects was not allowed. Thus, the full $56 million (or 18.6%) of the initial $300 million would be dedicated to this one project.
One item that brought some confusion was the claw-back provision of the project. Board member Jason Shoaf asked if a company may have to pay three different times for an individual job that doesn’t get filled. The board went into recess while legal counsel from Triumph and the City of Pensacola discussed the concern. It was agreed that ST-MAE would pay roughly $42,000/job for any shortfall in jobs created over a three-year period. Each year has a distinct goal with the final objective of 1,350 jobs filled at the end of the three years.
A final sticking point that needed to be worked out was the time table for signing the “term-sheet” with ST-MAE. A term-sheet is not a legal, binding document but it is an understanding of the financial terms and timelines agreed to between the two parties. Triumph Chairman Don Gaetz stated that he wanted the term sheet signed by VT-MAE within 72 hours of the board agreeing to the terms. City of Pensacola consultant Dave Penzone addressed the board requesting more time to get the document signed. After some discussion, the board agreed to give the city a week to return the term sheet.
The Triumph grant is contingent on the city finalizing funding from all sources by the end of 2018. It was stated at the meeting that the city is currently five million dollars short of the funding they need. There will be two separate agreements signed by Triumph, one with the City of Pensacola and one with VT-MAE.
The board also discussed moving forward following Hurricane Michael. The consensus among the board members was that the affected counties may need to go back and reprioritize their projects. The board is going to give these counties time to asses their needs and resubmit their priorities when appropriate.