The Dixon City Council is scheduled to get an update tonight on the status of a $2.8 billion movie studio project proposed for the Solano County town. It marks the council's first public meeting since a Bee investigation raised questions about the background of the woman pushing the proposal.
City Manager Jim Lindley is scheduled to deliver an update on the studio proposed by Carissa Carpenter, 50, a self-described entertainment executive who since 1997 has failed to deliver on six similar plans pitched in Northern California and in South Carolina. The Bee investigation turned up past investors who said they had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in her failed studio deals.
The investigation found Carpenter has a 20-year history of bounced checks, tax liens and unpaid debts and court judgments. Carpenter blamed many of her financial problems on ongoing health issues and identity theft.
Lindley has not returned calls from The Bee since before the investigation was published June 2. He indicated in a written report to the council that negotiations with property owners and other legal issues have slowed progress on the studio plan. "The City is now at the point where no work is needed on the City side to initiate the project, so we are currently in waiting mode," Lindley wrote.
The city has been waiting for a $100,000 deposit from Carpenter since early May, money that was to be used to offset city staff time once escrow begins on the 548 acres of land Carpenter has said she wants to purchase for the studio. The cost of the land purchase is roughly $27.4 million, and Carpenter told The Bee in April that she had nearly $100 million at hand to begin the purchase and building process.
Since the Bee story was published, a key member of the team that forms the core of Carpenter's Morning View LLC has announced he was pulling out. Howard Kazanjian, a producer on mega-hits such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark," told The Bee in two separate emails that he was ending his association with the project because the funding had not come through.
Watch the council meeting live starting at 7 p.m. at http://www.ci.dixon.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=339.
Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091. Follow him on Twitter @stantonsam.