$750,000 Windermere bill comes due
By Bob Baysinger
September 28, 2004
CAMDENTON – The big bills have started coming in at the Windermere Baptist Conference Center.
The deed of trust signed by Frank Shock, Windermere president, when an $18.75 million construction loan was finalized on Aug. 15, 2003, shows that a $750,000 debt service note was due on Sept. 1, 2004. County records do not show the debt as being paid, and calls to Windermere have not been returned.
The deed of trust secured payment on an $8,348,000 refinancing note and a $9,652,000 construction note. According to the deed of trust, both the refinancing note and the construction note are due on Feb. 1, 2007.
The loan, which is being used to construct the Wilderness Creek Project at Windermere, is secured by the Windermere real estate and property.
The expansion project was launched after Windermere’s board of trustees changed its charter and became self-perpetuating. Work proceeded even though the MBC Executive Board officially notified the project manager, Walton Construction, about the suit for declaratory judgment against Windermere and four other MBC agencies. Notice of the pending litigation was also recorded in the Camden County records to give notice to any lenders or creditors.
In a related development, Richard Hicks, owner of Hicks’ Construction Co, Niangua, finally is going to get a court date in Camden County on his financial claim against Windermere. Hicks’ company is owed $480,000 for work done on the Wilderness Creek Project at Windermere.
No legal representative for Construction Resources, LLC, appeared at the Sept. 14 Law Day session in Camden County, which resulted in a Camden County Circuit Court judge informing Hicks’ attorney that a trial date will be set at the October Law Day.
The trial will center on Hicks’ request to be paid for work done on the Wilderness Creek project. Hicks has been seeking a hearing on his mechanics’ lien, but Construction Resources lawyers have appeared monthly to ask the court for delays. Construction Resources attorneys have been contending that their discovery work is not complete.
Construction Resources is one of a family of companies owned by William Jester, Springfield, including Resource Development, Inc., and RDI, LLC, the firm that named Jim Hill its president and CEO after he resigned as the MBC executive director in October, 2001. Jim Hill’s brother, Jerry Hill, worked for Jester companies even before his brother left the MBC. Jerry Hill now serves as senior consultant and general counsel.
Work performed by Hicks’ company includes concrete footings and foundations for 14 housing units, a 1,500-seat auditorium, an indoor swimming pool and a gymnasium and construction of a new road leading to the Wilderness Creek area.
Hicks’ lien was one of at least 14 liens filed against the former Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) retreat center at Lake of the Ozarks after Windermere directors commissioned the start of the project without securing financing.
According to Hicks, he is the only contractor who has not been paid. Hicks said he has been informed by other contractors they accepted reduced payments for work done.
Hicks is unhappy about Windermere’s delays.
“We are only asking what is due to us according to their contract, not ours, Hicks said. “We are asking nothing for the hardship and undue strain this has put on our small business.”