Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pay raise should help councilman’s warrant in debt

Fork in the Market

Fork in the Market

Councilman Dave Trinkle had another ordinance in the wings that would have raised Roanoke City Council members pay by 10% instead of 28.5%. It didn’t see the light of day. The motion before council continued from their last discussion was open and had to be put to a vote.

The 28.5% pay raise for council members to $20,000 annually and a 15% pay raise for the mayor to $23,000 annually. The vote as expected was 4-3 with Mayor Bowers and council members Price, Bestpitch and Lea following suit. A second reading will occur on June 17th as a technicality.

Trinkle must be on financial hard times. Besides being a geriatric physiatrist with Carilion and Associate Dean for Community and Culture at VTC he owns three restaurants – Fork in the Alley, Fork in the City and Fork on the Market.

Trinkle is named on a General Court Civil Suit for indebtedness to the Market Building Foundation, Inc. in the amount of $12,379 with interest of 12% and attorney’s fee of $379.40 according to an affidavit at the clerk’s office. The debt started accumulating October 1, 2012 and continued through January 14, 2013 according to the documents.

It includes multiple $4400 rent payments, utilities (gas, electric and water), late fees and a couple of bounced check fees. Month after month the court date has been continued. The next court date is Friday, June 7 July 12. Roger Elkin with Hall and Associates, the Market Building Foundation’s agent said in a phone call that the attorney, Robert Ziogas with Glenn, Feldmann, Darb and Goodlatte, filed the warrant to “secure the interest of the Foundation.”

Elkin said that the Foundation came to a payment agreement with Fork in the City and Dave Trinkle. “Being continued is good because that means the tenant is continuing to follow the payment plan.” Elkin estimated that the $12,000 amount was probably now down by 80% and would be eliminated in the next 30 days. The negotiated payment plan “wasn’t adversarial,” said Elkin but if payment is disrupted it would be heard in court.

Should a tenant not cooperate by negotiating a payment plan then a judgment would be issued against the tenant.

“This is a normal process,” he said and the Market Building had tough months in January, February and March. He said that particularly this winter has been tough for downtown restaurants and retail outlets. Things are picking up as the good weather hits.

Another tenant on the docket is Habana Cafe who owes over $20,000 but Elkin said they too were working through a payment plan. Bubble Tea who is no longer at the Market Building is a different story he said and they will have to be pursued “much harder.” They will not however pursue collection for the remaining rent of the 5-year lease. Their space was leased again quickly by Marco & Luca Dumpling Shop.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

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