ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A bank says the owner of Atlantic City’s former Revel casino owes $1 million in unpaid electricity bills, and wants a judge to order owner Glenn Straub to pay up.
Bank of New York Mellon also wants the judge to order Straub’s Polo North Country Club to put up a $2 million letter of credit it can draw on if Polo ever falls behind on payments again.
The casino closed Sept. 2, 2014. Straub has been trying to reopen the $2.4 billion property since buying it for $82 million from bankruptcy court in April.
But he has been unable to agree on a contract with ACR Energy Partners, the building’s sole supplier of power and water, which cut off service two days after Straub took over.
The state Department of Community Affairs then ordered ACR Energy Partners to provide enough electricity to keep fire safety systems powered. The court ordered an interim arrangement under which ACR would provide a limited flow of power and Straub would keep a bank account funded to pay for it.
But Guy Amoresano, a lawyer for the bank, which is foreclosing on the power plant, wrote that Straub has stopped making payments. Polo North is $1 million behind on its electric bills, he wrote.
“Any other vendor faced with this substantial misappropriation would cut off supply,” he wrote. “ACR is not free to do so because it currently supplies the electricity under involuntary government compulsion.”
Straub’s lawyer, Stuart Moskovitz, said Straub will pay once ACR shows how much electricity Polo North used by itself, and not in combination with ACR’s use of power by equipment it owns inside Revel.
“We are only supposed to be paying for electricity we use,” he said Friday. “It appears at this point, and it is difficult to get answers from ACR, that they are using electricity to power their (central utility plant) and to power transformers we are not using, and trying to bill us for it.”
Straub has proposed more than a half-dozen potential uses for Revel, including a medical spa, an indoor water park, an equestrian facility, and a so-called “genius academy” where the world’s top minds would gather to tackle society’s problems. He has repeatedly voiced uncertainty over whether it might re-open at least partly as a casino.
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