HALF MOON BAY — This small, seaside city's luck has turned.
Once nearly destitute, Half Moon Bay will get another infusion of cash -- $3.15 million -- from an insurer related to a disastrous property dispute.
That payment, and another $10 million already awarded, will be discussed at a town meeting Wednesday evening.
The city last week approved a $3.15 million negotiated settlement with Insurance Company of the West resulting from a legal fight between Half Moon Bay and the owner of a 24-acre property known as Beachwood. The money comes on top of $10 million from the same insurer that an arbitrator awarded last year.
The city has now received a total of $18.15 million from insurance carriers in connection with Beachwood, a private property on which the city inadvertently created wetlands, rendering it unfit for development. The Beachwood affair, combined with the collapse of the national economy in 2007, brought about a fiscal crisis in Half Moon Bay, which was forced to outsource its police force and other services.
Half Moon Bay decided to buy Beachwood in 2009 for $18 million. The city financed the purchase with bonds that will cost more than $30 million to pay off. Getting $18.15 million, including $5 million from an Association of Bay Area Governments plan, softens the blow.
"These funds will never fully reimburse the city for bond-related costs and legal expenses," Mayor Rick Kowalczyk said in a statement, "but they will have a major impact on our ability to close the book on the Beachwood episode by substantially reducing the related debt burden."
The council will hold a special meeting on paying down its debt at 6 p.m. Wednesday at 537 Kelly Ave.
Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357. Follow him at Twitter.com/kinneytimes.