HRM, Harold MacKay come to agreement on $359,550 shortfall
Harold MacKay - Ryan Taplin/Metro
[HALIFAX, NS] - A deal has been stuck between HRM and MacKay Entertainment Inc.
The agreement ensures the Metallica concert, scheduled for July 14 on the Garrison Grounds, will go on as planned.
But the specifics about the deal were difficult to ascertain at a hastily scheduled press conference with concert spokesperson and promoter Harold MacKay and the municipality’s chief administrative officer, Richard Butts, late yesterday.
At MacKay’s lawyer’s office in Dartmouth, Butts announced all negotiations surrounding the July 14 concert have been concluded.
“We resolved all outstanding issues and we’re satisfied with the resolution,” Butts said, flanked by a municipal lawyer. When asked how those issues had been resolved, he said “through negotiations” with MacKay.
It was revealed on Monday that HRM was considering pulling its support for the show. At issue was a $359,550 bill delivered to the municipality from Trade Centre Limited, part of a forgivable loan issued to MacKay’s former company by HRM’s former top administrator for two outdoor concerts in 2010.
Council gave Butts direction to try to find ways to recoup the loss. But councillors were apparently blindsided when media reports on Monday suggested HRM was threatening to withhold services necessary for the concert until the bill was paid.
That resulted in a closed-door session of council that lasted almost two hours yesterday. Afterward, councillors and Mayor Peter Kelly directed questions to “administration.”
Coun. Sue Uteck, a vocal opponent of Kelly and critic of his role in the scandal, said council agreed as a group to offer no comment.
But Butts left the door open for the possibility of recouping the money from other sources.
“There are exposures for various parties in this, and how those play out is not predictable,” Butts said.