Katz Group won't appear before Council

09/20/2012 06:36 EDT | Updated 11/20/2012 05:12 EST
The Katz Group has declined an offer to appear in public to discuss the issues that have stalled negotiations on the proposed downtown arena.

On Tuesday, Mayor Stephen Mandel invited the Katz Group to appear before City Council after the company sent a letter with several issues it said still needed to be negotiated.

The Katz Group declined the invitation Thursday, saying in a release that “we do not think such a meeting can be productive until we have reduced the outstanding issues.”

“We remain committed to working constructively with city administration to reach an agreement and would be pleased to go before council with administration to present a comprehensive and mutually supported proposal, or even a proposal with one or two significant issues still to be resolved,” wrote John D. Karvellas, executive vice-president of the Katz Group.

Some of the issues raised by the Katz Group include responsibility over cost-overruns and approval for a casino to offset operating costs.

Several councillors have said they were surprised by the letter and considered some of those concerns to have been already settled.

Mandel says time is running out to make the deal.

While he says negotiations are still going on between Administration and the Katz Group, the final decision will need to be made at a public meeting.

"At the end of the day, Mr. Katz needs to come to the Council and the publicfor a decision on what is going to happen," he said. "There might be some due diligence that has to be done … but at the end of the day, Council has to make this decision in public."