In-kind materials, equipment and labor to be provided
By Ann McCreary
Under an agreement approved by the Twisp Town Council last week, Lloyd Holdco LLC would provide $18,700 worth of in-kind services — such as materials, equipment and labor — to help build a community trail, but not on Lloyd property.
The agreement was drafted to compensate the town after the Lloyd family, doing business as Lloyd Holdco, withdrew last year from an agreement to donate property to Twisp for a recreational trail planned along the east side of the Methow River north of Highway 20.
Although the council gave its approval to the agreement at its July 26 meeting, Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said this week she expects to amend the agreement and bring it back to the council.
“I have reviewed it and would like to have some language added to address how it will implemented,” Ing-Moody said Monday (Aug. 1). “I am looking at the details of it and will likely come back to the council with a more comprehensive agreement.”
The agreement as currently written does not include language specifically describing how the in-kind services would be provided, or any time frame for following through on the agreement.
The in-kind agreement was originally drafted last year, but was set aside for several months while Ing-Moody and council member Hans Smith reviewed the contractual history of a public/private partnership established more than 23 years ago between Lloyd Development (a family-owned development company) and the town, to create a business park on the 110-acre property owned by the Lloyds on Twisp’s east side.
The review found all contractual obligations of the partnership had been met, and so the mayor brought the agreement for in-kind services back before the council last week to “pick up where we left off prior to the review.”
When discussion of the agreement began, Twisp Council member Bob Lloyd recused himself from acting as a council member, and subsequently responded to questions from other council members as a representative of the Lloyd family and Lloyd Holdco. The company represents four family members — Bob Lloyd, Don Maples, Mike Maples and Lorna Lott.
Lloyd’s role as spokesman for Lloyd Holdco prompted a question from council member Alan Caswell, the newest member of the board.
“It’s a huge conflict having you represent the family as well as the Town Council,” Caswell said. “Would you feel more comfortable having someone else from the family represent Lloyd Holdco?”
“I can see how the appearance might be that,” Lloyd said. “I don’t see any times I’ve approached it (that would) create a conflict.”
“It’s a question I get asked a lot,” Caswell said.
Ing-Moody said this week that she doesn’t believe there is a conflict in this circumstance because Lloyd does not participate as a council member during discussions or voting related to the Lloyd property.
In small communities like Twisp, it’s difficult for elected officials to avoid instances where their personal or professional lives overlap their public service, she said.
“Every council member could have a conflict of interest. As a governing body we must, in those situations, recuse ourselves or state our conflict openly at that time. Then the remaining council has the authority to determine whether they should be participating,” she said.
During discussions about the in-kind agreement, council members “were very capable and diligent at doing their jobs. They were not holding back on questions to ask Mr. Lloyd,” Ing-Moody said.
During the meeting, Smith asked Lloyd whether the family might be interested in allowing a community trail on their property in the future.
“I can’t speak to that. The family would have to discuss it, if there were another proposal,” Lloyd said.
The Lloyd property, zoned for commercial and industrial development when the Lloyds first proposed developing an industrial/business park, has been rezoned for residential and commercial development. More than $1 million in site preparation work was completed on the property through state loans obtained by Twisp as part of the partnership between the town and Lloyd Development.
The development has never gone beyond site preparation. The Lloyds have cited unfavorable economic conditions and a previous shortage of municipal water as reasons for the lack of progress.
The town vacated the former Wagner Street, which ran along the east bank of the Methow River, at the request of Lloyd family as part of the plans for the business park. The proposed trail easement that the Lloyds agreed to donate in 2014, before rescinding the agreement last year, would have followed the route of Wagner Street along the riverfront.
Many citizens at the time questioned the loss of public shoreline access, and an unsuccessful lawsuit challenged the street vacation in court.
During last week’s meeting, council member John Fleming noted that Lloyd has previously said the family withdrew the promised donation of property for a riverfront trail due to concerns about security.
“Things have not worked out as you had hoped for that property,” Fleming said. “Was the family concerned if it were developed for something else, like pure residential, then that (a recreational trail) would be a security liability?”
“It [a trail] may not be something that would fit in the future,” Lloyd said.
Ing-Moody said Lloyd Holdco suggested the $18,700 amount for in-kind services provided in the agreement.
“I have no clue how the amount was determined. It was the Lloyd’s donation, they proposed it to us,” she said.
According to figures from the town clerk, Twisp spent about $3,400 in legal and consulting fees, appraisals, and other costs related to the 2014 agreement with Lloyds for donation of the property for the trail.
The in-kind services agreement approved by the council states that the contribution would be made “in exchange for termination of the trail agreement.”
Lloyd told council members last week that “we were never committed” legally to the agreement to donate the property for the trail.
Ing-Moody said after reviewing that agreement, which was signed and notarized, “there was really nothing else the town could do when the Lloyds changed their mind on their donation.”
The in-kind contribution in the agreement could include materials, labor, equipment, construction or maintenance for the trail. The agreement gives Lloyd Holdco “discretion in determining the contractor, amount, and allocation of in-kind material” and says “Lloyd shall coordinate with Twisp in determining the time-frame and type of in-kind construction.”
The Lloyd family operates Lloyd Logging Inc., an excavating and construction business based in Twisp.
The town is waiting for final authorization from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, which has provided a grant for trail construction, to begin work on the trail. The donation of in-kind services from Lloyd Holdco will be included as part of required matching funds from the town, Ing-Moody said.
After the council OKed the agreement, Smith said it was “adequate for its purposes. The town has a strong interest in a trail on this property. We want to continue working with Lloyd Holdco to accomplish that.”