The township is seeking additional tenants for the building.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
AUSTINTOWN -- Township Administrator Michael Dockry says the Mahoning County Green Team should soon be receiving a bill for $17,500 for rent on its office in the township's Westchester Drive building.
The Green Team has continued to use the office this year but has not been billed for its $2,500 per month rent since January, when its three-year lease expired. The county continued to lease the space on a month-to-month basis under an agreement with the township after the three-year lease expired.
Green Team Assistant Director John Cox said the rent was never paid because the county never received a bill.
Dockry said a bill for $17,500 was mailed to the county last week. He took responsibility for not sending the bill or taking steps to renew the three-year lease earlier, calling it an oversight.
Township trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve a new three-year lease for the Green Team effective Sept. 1. The new lease states that the county can decide if it wants to be billed quarterly or monthly, and that the rent will remain $2,500 per month.
The county will be able to pay the $17,500 for this year's rent as soon as it receives the bill, Cox said. The money "has already been set aside," he said.
Cox added that when it did not receive a monthly bill for the township, the county assumed that the township was now billing it on a quarterly or yearly basis.
"We didn't think much of it," he said.
The Westchester Drive building, which was donated to the township in 1997 by developer Walter Terlecky, also holds offices for the United Auto Workers, the county's office of lead-based paint hazard control, and the township zoning department and juvenile diversion program. Dockry said the UAW and lead hazard control have five-year leases that took effect last year.
The building also has about 19,000 square feet of vacant space. Trustees have been seeking a tenant to take the space through Landmark Real Estate.
When Terlecky donated the building to the township, it was with the stipulation that all rent be used to support recreation in the community. Township officials have been using rent collected from the building to pay off a $500,000 loan they took out in 1999 to help build the township fitness center. Information about how much in rent the township collects yearly from the building was not immediately available.