Ping’s reception last Tuesday morning at Pulaski Fiscal Court was more cordial, with magistrates agreeing to consider SPCU’s proposal at the next fiscal court session when all magistrates are expected to be present.
In a letter and accompanying invoice for $65,000 dated April 11, 2013, to Judge-Executive Barty Bullock and obtained by the Commonwealth Journal through an Open Records request, Mayor Girdler wrote:
“Dear County Judge Bullock:
Over a year ago, you and the Fiscal Court asked the City Council to provide $65,000 to help buy property from Mr. Brooke [sic] Ping that the Court paid over $200,000 to purchase. At that time, you said that the county was broke and did not have even $65,000 to complete the purchase since Mr. Pink had given you a deadline because he wanted to take advantage of tax breaks. The promise was made that the Fiscal Court would reimburse the City of Somerset $65,000 once the money became available.
“Based upon the newspaper article that the Fiscal Court does have surplus cash to pay for studies, we assume that you now have sufficient cash to pay the City back the money that was promised. Therefore, we are now submitting the attached invoice in the amount of $65,000 that was used to purchase the property with the promise to pay back.”
Judge Bullock was at a conference in Frankfort when the letter was received at his office, and had not had sufficient time to respond at press time.
Wiese and Girdler both confirmed that the city let the county borrow the $65,000, but Girdler simply said they thought the county was in sufficient financial shape to request repayment.
“It was just a normal business transaction,” said Girdler.
Ping’s name was back in the news yesterday morning when a contingent of city officials and Somerset Police Department squad cars descended on Ping’s University Drive property and cordoned off the former tobacco warehouse site.