The matter has also already been set for discussion during the June 20 council meeting — council approval typically being the final requirement before development deposits are released, said City Engineer Ying Kwan.
When Wannier began construction on the bookstore a year and a half ago, city officials required him to provide a $50,000 performance bond pending satisfactory completion of curbside upgrades at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Chevy Chase Drive. These included paving new sidewalks as well as the installation of light poles and street trees.
The city, in turn, offered to reimburse Wannier up to $30,000 of the total cost of that work after its completion.
Though major construction ended in February, the need to correct improperly installed light-pole bolts prohibitted city inspectors from certifying the project until May 27, Kwan said.
Before funds are released, City Council members must vote to approve certification. Wannier complains officials are dragging their feet, but Kwan says inspections simply didn’t wrap up in time to make the June 6 council agenda.
“This, to me, is red tape at its worst — just pointless,” said Wannier. “I was told as soon as work was completed, my bond would be released. I wasn’t aware our City Council had to rubber stamp anything. They know the work is done. I did my part honorably, and I did it well. It’s not right for them to sit on [releasing the funds] for three weeks.”
Explaining his frustration, Wannier said he had been counting on receiving the money from the city so he could complete payments to his general contractor; the delay forced him to use other means.