City considers full-time lease of Glass Room
Tecumseh City Council approved a resolution Monday night, July 1, that directed City Manager Kevin Welch to draft a lease agreement between the city and ProMedica for use through 2014 of the Glass Room at the Tecumseh Community Center.
Welch said ProMedica approached the city a few months ago regarding exclusive use of the Glass Room for its programs. ProMedica already utilizes the lower floor of the building for its Fitness Connection, and a third story for spinning classes. They have used main floor space as it’s been available.
“The big thing is if we do this, the Glass Room will no longer be available for public rental,” said Welch. He also informed council that there had been at least two potential buyers for the building. He said he felt compelled to bring that up as the lease came up for consideration, even though a couple of years has passed since the city issued requests for proposals for purchase.
Having garnered little interest, the city entered into lease agreements with the Lenawee County Department on Aging, which leases a large portion of the main floor for approximately $1,100 per month, and ProMedica for $24,000 per year for its Fitness Connection and upper floor use. Additionally, an estimated $15,000 has been proposed to use the Glass Room. Welch said those leases would be honored over the next two years. Also, the Glass Room bookings through the end of 2013 would also be honored.
Council member Troy Wright said he would be more inclined to consider what the city wants to do long-term with the building and to possibly pursue the existing interest in it.
“I would propose holding off for a little bit and figuring out if these people are serious,” Wright said. “If something major was to happen to that building, the city is still responsible. Maybe we could delay a few months and do our due diligence and see if anyone comes forward.”
Council member Jack Baker took a different stance and said he was in favor of considering the lease. “We have leased them part of that building for several years and they have a proven track record,” said Baker. “I think we take the guaranteed rather than the possible. When we have a guaranteed amount coming in on a monthly basis it does allow us to budget for that building. That’s the approach I would recommend.”
Mayor Richard Johnson added, “I was part of that committee to evaluate the RFPs,” he said. Only two people responded. After much discussion and negotiation it turned out not to be either in their best interest or ours. At that point we concluded the building was off the market. We executed leases with ProMedica and the Department on Aging and now the Paddling Company. And I don’t think at this point in time I would consider selling. If we decide to sell in the future, we’d begin the RFP process again but I don’t think we’re ready to do that at this point in time.”
Welch said with the leases, the city is still responsible for the infrastructure of the building. “We certainly would maintain the integrity of the building,” he said. But the tenants would take care of such maintenance as cleaning. He said the lease amounts help cover costs such as heating and cooling the building.
Following the discussion, the council opted to have a lease agreement drafted, with review by the city attorney, and brought back to them for final approval. Council member Wright voted no. Council member Pat Housekeeper was not present.
In other business, the council members:
• Heard a report from Drain Commissioner Stephen May, who also serves as Chair of the River Raisin Watershed Council, who reviewed the reorganization and current plans of the group. He said 45 of 65 municipalities in the region had joined the group and asked that Tecumseh consider joining. The city’s share would be approximately $850 based on a 10 cents per capita basis.
• Approved a request by the Tecumseh Central Business Association to hold the Appleumpkin Festival on October 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Authorized the city manager to sign a reimbursement agreement with McDonald’s, which will allow the city to complete a storm drain hook up while street repairs are being made to S. Occidental and avoid having to rip up part of the street later when the restaurant rebuilds with a new entrance later this summer.
• Heard a report from Shelley Lim, Director of Cultural and Leisure Services, regarding the coming performance season at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts.