By Gary Nelson
Commissioners on the county's building and grounds committee voted to exercise their option and give a 90-day notice to cancel the lease the county holds on the Archives Building and tell Downtown Crossville Inc. (DCI) that its rent will increase from $1 per year to $75 per month on a month-to-month basis after that 90 days.
The action came after Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner, made the motion and also moved to have county attorney Randal Boston send the official notice to DCI.
For the past several years, the county has leased office space to DCI on the top floor of the Archives Building at a rate of $1 per year. The county has also furnished the utilities for DCI.
Back in June, when it was time to renew the annual lease, county commissioners learned that DCI might be moving out of the Archives Building and into the Snodgrass Building, which is now owned by the city of Crossville.
Commissioners elected to let the lease go on a month-to-month basis, as is indicated as what happens in the lease if it is not renewed, until they could hear from DCI.
Tuesday evening, Bob Schwartz of DCI attended the building and grounds meeting and told commissioners that DCI would be leasing the Snodgrass Building as of Nov. 1, but would not be moving in yet because there was much more renovation work that had to be done.
DCI is being charged $75 per month from the city of Crossville for the building.
Schwartz said DCI is hardly ever in the office in the Archives Building and they don't use much of the utilities while there.
"We will be using a lot more utilities there (in the Snodgrass Building)," Schwartz said.
Joe Koester, 5th District commissioner, asked, "Why would we want to start charging them now after they've been there this long at $1?"
Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, said, "DCI stands for Downtown Crossville. That's who they represent. If the city's going to charge them, why not us?"
"They're providing a service that brings people into the county and they spend money here," Koester said. "What happened?"
"We found out what the market value is," Lynch said.
"Did DCI agree to pay $75?" Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner and building and grounds committee chairman, asked Schwartz.
Schwartz said yes because DCI was planning to expand its operations and have a full-time staff member in the office and to expand its presence in Crossville.
"We will have a much bigger presence in the office," Schwartz said.
Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner, supported Lynch's motion and it was approved.
Koester voted against the motion.
The Cumberland County Red Cross and Archives will remain in the Archives Building according to the same terms they have had at $1 per year as their leases were renewed this past June.
DCI will continue to lease the small stone former THP office next to the courthouse, where its stone museum is housed. That lease was set for a five year term between DCI and the county.
The recommendation will go to the full county commission for its consideration.