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Medina Township seeks legal advice to break Remsen lease

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MEDINA TWP. — Medina Township has hired an attorney to explore whether it can break the five-year lease signed with Medina Creative Housing at the Remsen Building.

The township is trying to sell the building at 3334 Myers Road and has hired Hudson attorney Adam Carr to handle the lease issue.

“We have hired legal counsel to give us an opinion on getting out of that lease,” township Trustee Ken DeMichael said.

DeMichael was absent from the December meeting where former trustees Ray Jarrett and Bill Ostmann signed the lease with the nonprofit organization.

“(The lease) is preventing us from getting fair market value,” DeMichael said. “The owner — Medina Township — is losing money.”

DeMichael said the township has yet to receive the advice from Carr, who will be paid $250 per hour for his services, with a cap of about $5,000.

Executive Director Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty said her nonprofit organization moved into the building in 2013 after the township purchased it from the county the year before for $80,000.

Besides Medina Creative Housing, which promotes the development of affordable housing and services for individuals with disabilities, the Remsen Building houses the Medina Soccer Association and Weymouth Preservation Society.

“It’s a community asset,” DePasquale-Hagerty said of the building.

The soccer association offered to purchase the building for $215,000 last year, DeMichael said. Its offer was trumped by a $300,000 bid from Dave Clardy of Intervention for Peace.

“(Clardy) doesn’t want it with the lease in place, that’s for sure,” DeMichael said.

DePasquale-Hagerty said her organization also attempted to purchase the building in June 2015. She didn’t say what was offered, other than “we offered to make them whole.”

She said it’s “unfortunate” that current trustees want to break the lease.

Jarrett didn’t seek re-election in November and Ostmann lost his bid to retain his seat.

“We have a lease that was entered into by the trustees,” DePasquale-Hagerty said. “Creative Housing pays rent, as does the soccer association.”

She said Creative Housing uses the building for storage and as a meeting point everyday for its staff.

The nonprofit agency’s main office is at 232 N. Court St. in Medina.

As far as the building itself, DeMichael cited maintenance costs as a reason to sell and noted the roof is leaking on the soccer side of the building.

“(It’s leaking) to the point where we’re not able to use one of the (two indoor soccer) fields,” DeMichael said. “We’re looking at that expense. We’re getting a cost estimate.”

In other news:

  • Trustees plan to hire an administrative assistant and will address the position at their meeting Monday.
    “It’s still up for discussion,” DeMichael said.
    He said the new hire would work with the zoning department, be involved with social media and help write grants.
    The township would like to record trustees meetings and have them available on social media, such as Facebook.
    DeMichael said the assistant’s pay would depend on the level of experience. Candidates have until the end of March to apply.
  • The township will have the second of two public hearings Monday on possibly adding a $5 permissive tax, which would increase license plate registration fees.
    “We’re getting all the final details from the state,” Trustee Mark Radice said. “(The money) could be used for our road department. It beats putting on a road levy.”
  • Trustees added Mike Nanosky and Brian Mummert to the fire district committee. They take the place of two men who were rejected because they weren’t township residents. The third member of the committee is Tim McGoldrick.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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