Where did the actual cash for that transaction come from?
At Tuesday night's meeting of the BC Task Force, while discussing a broader issue of the credit crunch and how it might apply to the 10-year construction plan BC has proposed, I made a statement that BC was given authority in August 2007 to issue $177 million in tax-exempt bonds, some of which was to go to the purchase of that property from the Archdiocese. I didn't think it was a controversial statement.
BC's Director of Public Affairs, Jack Dunn, strongly disagreed, saying that "the notion that BC used public money to purchase the archdiocese land is inaccurate."
In so doing, Dunn made a statement in direct contradiction with one from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency ("MassDevelopment").
The press release put out by MassDevelopment on August 13, 2007, announcing that the agency was granting approval for BC to issue $176,980,000 in tax-exempt bonds, was clear in stating that BC would be using the money to purchase the remaining portion of the archdiocese land:
The school will use proceeds from a tax-exempt bond to finance several construction projects and purchase 18 acres of land and buildings from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s former Brighton headquarters. Projects include the construction of three new academic buildings, a recreation complex and student center on the school’s Chestnut Hill campus.Sounds rather declarative to me.
What's more, the press release, issued on MassDevelopment letterhead, listed two contacts for further information: Alicia Tildsley of MassDevelopment; and Jack Dunn of BC. Dunn's name was right on the top of the release.
The difference between Dunn's statement and the MassDevelopment press release raises the question: Did BC actually spend the money from the bonds in the way that MassDevelopment last year thought they would spend it?
Image of tax-exempt bonds by Paul Levy at the Running a Hospital blog.