WARREN Company sues to block lease signing

In a split vote, the commissioners decided to rent courtroom space from a higher bidder.
WARREN -- The company whose low bid to rent space for Trumbull County Eastern District Court was denied by county commissioners has filed a lawsuit.
This is the second time that Rien Construction Co. of Brookfield has asked the common pleas court to block county commissioners from signing a lease with rival K-Y Development Corp., also of Brookfield.
In 1998, Rien successfully sued the commissioners for awarding the lease to K-Y, despite the higher rent demanded by that company for a courtroom at 7130 Brookwood Drive, Brookfield.
Judge John M. Stuard found in favor of Rien because K-Y had provided the county with additional information about its offer after the bid deadline closed, according to his written decision.
Temporary lease: While the case worked its way through the court, the commissioners entered into a month-to-month lease with K-Y. Rien did not bid for the temporary lease, officials said.
Commissioners received new bids for a permanent lease this year and on Wednesday voted to sign a 10-year lease with K-Y to keep the court at 7130 Brookwood Drive.
Annual rent at that space was $3,900 more than at Rien's building at 7124 Warren Sharon Road, but commissioners Michael O'Brien and Joseph Angelo Jr. said that savings would be lost in the cost of moving and rewiring a new building for computers.
They voted in favor of staying in K-Y's building.
Commissioner James G. Tsagaris said the lease instead should go to Rien because its bid was lower. Rien's bid was for $43,500 a year on the 10-year lease; K-Y bid $47,400.
A report from a real estate appraisal firm, which was paid $2,000 by the commissioners to evaluate the two locations, said the rent at the Rien building "represents the more reasonable option, considering its value."

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