TUCSON – Better late than never, at least with part of a bill you owe.
The group that runs the El Tour de Tucson bike race today paid Pima County $28,127 towards its unpaid debt. Perimeter Bicycling Association also proposed a payment plan to repay the county for traffic control devices used during last November’s race.
The county had paid an outside vendor for the equipment. Perimeter still owes the county $180,000. According to a county administrator who was in the closed-door meeting, Perimeter offered to pay the county back in three payments of $60,000 each over the next three months.
Perimeter President Richard DeBernadis told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “The county has to consider our proposal and come back and give us answers to what we presented to them.” DeBernardis did not reveal the payment plan to us, but it was the plan and its specifics were confirmed by a deputy county administrator.
Perimeter President Richard DeBernardis’ organization has owed the county $208,000 for months. That amount could fill almost 3000 potholes. (The county originally told us the amount owed was $205,000, but DeBernardis said it’s $208,000).
As the News 4 Tucson Investigators first reported last night, Perimeter was supposed to pay the county back starting last November; $125,000 was due 10 days before the race; the rest was supposed to be paid within 30 days. Until today, the county had not received a cent from Perimeter.
The Pima County Attorney’s Office sent a Demand for Payment letter on Feb. 12 to DeBernardis, stating if Perimeter fails to pay the overdue amount of $180,000.16 within 90 days, “this office will seek authorization from the Pima County Board of Supervisors to take legal action to compel payment.”
We asked DeBernardis, “Why have you been unable to make this payment that was due months ago?” He said, “We had lower registration than we anticipated, that we projected for the event, so we lost in registration. We didn’t have a title sponsor last year. And that is a big figure, like $150,000.”
Debernardis said this year’s race is still on.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated on Feb. 15 with news of the Demand for Payment letter.