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Bridge toll battle goes to appeals court
WWSB ABC 7 ^ | December 22, 2020 | Jim Saunders

Posted on 12/24/2020 4:52:13 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

TALLAHASSSEE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) - Bondholders have gone to a state appeals court as they seek to force the Florida Department of Transportation to pay damages because of lost toll revenues on a long-controversial Panhandle bridge.

UMB Bank, which represents bondholders, filed a notice last week that it was taking the dispute to the 1st District Court of Appeal after a Leon County circuit judge ruled in November that the department could not be forced to pay damages.

As is common, the notice of appeal does not provide detailed legal arguments. But the appeal is the latest move in years of wrangling about the Garcon Point Bridge, which spans part of Pensacola Bay but has never produced enough money from tolls to pay off bonds that financed its construction.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper forced the Department of Transportation early this year to raise tolls on the bridge --- known in Tallahassee as “Bo’s Bridge” because it was championed by former state House Speaker Bo Johnson of Milton.

But the case continued, with bondholders arguing they were owed damages. Cooper sided with the department Nov. 30 in rejecting that claim.

Nevertheless, another issue remains unresolved before Cooper, as the department has suspended the tolls after Hurricane Sally led to damage in September on another span, the Pensacola Bay Bridge. The department has suspended tolls through Jan. 12, saying the Garcon Point Bridge needs to serve as a detour route while the Pensacola Bay Bridge is being repaired.

The bondholders contend in court documents that such a lengthy suspension of the tolls after a storm is improper.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: bondholders; bonds; damages; detour; fdot; florida; garconpointbridge; hurricanesally; lawsuit; leoncounty; p3; payments; pensacola; pensacolabaybridge; ppp; rondesantis; route281; tolls; tollsuspension; umbbank; us98

1 posted on 12/24/2020 4:52:13 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: BobL; sphinx; GreenLanternCorps; oldvirginian


2 posted on 12/24/2020 4:55:08 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Hope is not a plan. -- Matthew Bracken)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The underlying legal fight stems from about $95 million in bonds that the state-created Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority issued in 1996. The bridge opened in 1999, and inadequate toll income was complicated by the fact that the bridge authority has been effectively defunct since 2014, according to court documents.

So when the state created Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority went defunct in 2014, which government agency assumed the paying of bonds? Someone is still paying these bonds ... I trust?

It should not be so easy to blow off bondholders.

Except for GM bondholders, of course.

3 posted on 12/24/2020 5:49:07 PM PST by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: texas booster
"Except for GM bondholders, of course."

In my best New York / fake French accent: But of course, to hell with those GM bondholders. /s

4 posted on 12/24/2020 8:50:12 PM PST by Stanwood_Dave ("Testilying." Cop's lie, only while testifying, as taught in their respected Police Academy(s). )
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