City of Kent writes off Riverbend restaurant debts of $111,000

Irish pub, Scotch and Vine failed to pay rent.

The Scotch and Vine restaurant operated for just eight months at the city-owned Riverbend Golf Complex. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter

The Scotch and Vine restaurant operated for just eight months at the city-owned Riverbend Golf Complex. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter

Kent city leaders decided to write off debts from the failure of two restaurants at the city-owned Riverbend Golf Complex.

The City Council’s Operations Committee voted last month to write off uncollectible accounts of about $150,000 citywide over the last four years, including about $111,000 connected to the two Riverbend restaurants that went out of business along West Meeker Street next to the 18-hole course. The full council agreed with the decision.

A total of $98,653 is due from Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub and Restaurant that operated at Riverbend from 2010 to 2015.

“It includes rent, utilities and penalties owed,” said Aaron BeMiller, city finance director, in an email. “The period is from January 2013 to June 30, 2016.”

City officials declined to renew a five-year lease with Mick Kelly’s because of unpaid lease and utility bills. Owner Mick Purdy disputed with the city about how it made him pay extra for utilities that also covered the clubhouse.

The $98,653 has been turned over to collections, BeMiller said. The city contracts with AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc., to try to collect funds.

“This does not relieve obligations due, it takes it off our books,” BeMiller said to the committee about the write-off.

In April, city officials closed the Scotch and Vine restaurant after just eight months of operation because owners missed rent payments. A total of $12,027 from Scotch and Vine for rent and penalties is part of this year’s write-off.

But unless Scotch and Vine, whose owners also closed their Des Moines location earlier this year, makes payments to the city, Kent will have more to write-off in the future from the failed restaurant.

“Scotch and Vine still have an outstanding balance owed to the city of $30,588 which is currently in collections and was not part of this year’s write-off,” BeMiller said. “Payments received from Scotch and Vine include $5,321 for November 2016 rent and $622 for fire permits and a finance charge.”

City officials are searching for a new restaurant to open at Riverbend next year.

The other major portion of the write-off this year included $26,930 for miscellaneous Public Works repairs and services, such as new guardrails, signs and other smaller repair items that add up, BeMiller said.

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