Cheque is in the mail, Sneyd tells Tay council
By GISELE WINTON SARVIS Midland Free Press November 21 2012
TAY TOWNSHIP — The cheque is in the mail. So says Skyline Investment’s chief executive officer Michael Sneyd, who appeared before Tay Township council on Nov. 14 regarding Skyline’s outstanding balance with the township.
“Our records show $43,800 remains outstanding,” said Sneyd. “Within a couple of days we will be sending out the $40,000 that we owe.
“It took time to secure financing. We’ve been working on it for the past eight months. The good news is I signed papers today. Closing should happen Friday. I can’t wait to get current on our accounts,” he said.
Mayor Scott Warnock asked, “One way or another we are getting paid?”
Sneyd responded, “Yes.”
Tay councillor Rick Black asked, “Why didn’t you pay us before?”
Sneyd responded by saying, “It’s all buckets.” He explained that money is available but was in other buckets.
He added that other organizations have also been asked to be patient and that in hindsight he would have come in and formally asked for an extension to make the payment.
Fortunately, said Sneyd, financing is becoming available for the Port McNicoll development project. Valued at an estimated $1.7 billion, the mixed-use development includes about 1,400 new homes and a marina along the 11 kilometres of Georgian Bay waterfront owned by Skyline. The company also owns Horseshoe Resort.
“Our corporate credit is strong. We have very strong sponsorship,” Sneyd said.
“My team is working flat out to make Port McNicoll a success. We will have some announcements over the next couple of weeks,” Sneyd said.
At the Sept. 12 council meeting, councillors discussed the possibility of stopping work with Skyline when the director of planning and development brought forward the issue of arrears of “$50,000” dating back to December.
Mara Burton said for any other company that debt would halt further business with the township.
But Bill Rawson, deputy mayor, said this amount was “minor” for a company like Skyline and council decided to invite Sneyd to council. He was not available for the October meeting.
The debt was incurred through the township’s consulting partners’ work on behalf of the township with regard to Skyline’s Port McNicoll development.
Skyline’s chairman and president Gil Blutrich funded the return of the S.S. Keewatin ship from its former home in Michigan to the Port McNicoll dock, which cost about $2 million. The ship is a tourist draw that is the focal point of Skyline’s development.
Four of the railcars that formed the Ossawippi Express railcar restaurant along the waterfront in Orillia were supposed to join the ship in June. This move was delayed as asbestos was found in the undercarriage of the cars in July and had to be removed.
Skyline then had until Oct. 31 to move the cars, but requested an extension from the City of Orillia, citing more work was needed on both the cars and the Port McNicoll site.
The deadline is now Dec. 14 to move the cars from Orillia.