Board approves PARCS lease

After a lengthy discussion, the Skaneateles Town Board voted 3-2 in favor of a new lease with the Parks and Recreation Council of Skaneateles.

The new lease was approved pending the reduction of a 15 percent rent increase per term, the completion of a three-party agreement between PARCS, the town and the village and finally of PARCS taking ownership of the Skaneateles Community Center building.

According to Supervisor Phil Tierney the lease was finalized recently and distributed to board members.

A negotiation has been on-going for about a year, said councilwoman Ellen Kulik. The lease provides that PARCS would own the community center building and it would then be a lease agreement between the organization and the town.

"I don't think the lease is good for the town," Tierney said. "There are issues that need to be resolved."

According to Tierney, there were three baseline issues that need to be worked out before approving the agreement, including rent, town operations and provisions for taxes already paid by the taxpayers.

The current agreement for rent is $43,000 annually for the first leg of the lease, $30,000 of which would be used for maintenance and repairs. After the first term there could be as much as a 15 percent increase per term if a new rental rate is not negotiated when renewing the lease, as the agreement is written.

"The way this lease is priced were guaranteeing that your repairs and maintenance will not be more than the average," said Charlie Wallace, member of the PARCS board.

As a not-for-profit organization, PARCS would be able to raise funds for capital improvement above what the rent is that the town would be paying.

Any money paid by the town and not used in the maintenance and repairs of the building would add to a capital reserve. According to Kulik, there is no capital reserve at this time.

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