SCOTTVILLE — Plans for the Scottville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to lease the Optimist grounds hit a snag on Monday, when several city commissioners and the city attorney expressed concerns about the financial feasibility of the purchase.
The plan was for the Green Street property to be used for the development of a community park, and for the city to purchase and renovate the adjacent Optimist Club building and Scottville Clown Band Shell.
The planned Scottville Optimist Park is set to include a sculpture commemorating the Scottville Clown Band. The project also calls for improvements and renovations to the Optimist building, and to the band shell.
Despite a unanimous decision from the DDA on Thursday to approve a five-year lease agreement with the Optimists, city commissioners decided the financial risks were too great to sign the lease as it was written.
The lease — which would have cost the city $1,200 a month for five years with an option to purchase at any point during that time for just shy of $50,000 — contained stipulations that troubled several of the commissioners, as well as Mayor Bruce Krieger.
“I certainly am in favor of the project to take care of the Optimist building, make a park and improve the entire area, but I do have some problems with the lease agreement,” Krieger said. “I’m looking at $231,000 in repairs that need to be done on the building, and that bothers me. Another thing that bothers me is that the city would then be running that building, renting it out (and) maintaining it. It says the lessee will assume the electric bill, the gas bill, the water bill, the sewer bills, the mowing … and that the City of Scottville would be responsible for the exterior of the building … including structural maintenance and repair. So overall, I have a problem with signing this lease.”
Krieger said the city simply does not have the financial resources to make the commitment.
The city's finance committee to discuss the feasibility of purchasing the property outright.
Read the full story in Tuesday's Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition.