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City considers leasing old Wal-Mart building

by Dolores Hamilton
The City of Iowa Park is considering leasing a portion of the city-owned building at 500 W. Highway to Sealed Air, Cryovac Division for use as a warehouse.

At Monday night’s meeting, members of the city council studied a request from Cryovac to lease 20,000 square feet. of the building for 14-cents per square foot. Term of the lease would be for two years, with several one-year options, and would bring in revenue of $67,200.

City Manager Mike Price told the council that asbestos in the building would have to be abated prior to Cryovac’s use of the facility, and estimated the cost at around $65,000. Price said he thought the 4A Corporation would cover cost of the abatement, but the grant to the city would be tied to Cryovac’s use only. If a non-industrial tenant moves in either side of the building, the city could be required to reimburse the 4A Corporation.

During the discussion, Mayor Joe Ward asked, “What other outlay of money would we spend other than asbestos abatement?” Price replied, “That’s about it.”

“Why is Cryovac only interested in 20,000 square feet. instead of 31,000 on the west side of the building?,” questioned council member Lori Shierry. Price told her that is all they could use.

Shierry said she was not for the lease agreement unless it is for 30,000 square feet, and recommended that they make a counter offer. Ward agreed and said he didn’t think they should accept the original offer.

Speaking to the mayor, council member Sherrie Williams said, “I take it that you all have scrapped the project that we initially purchased that building for.” “I wouldn’t say it’s been scrapped, just put on the back burner for a while,” he replied. “I don’t mind telling you that saddens me after the things I learned at the TML conference,” she said.

Stephanie Wooten was absent from the meeting, but the other council members voted unanimously to make a counter offer to lease Cryovac 30,933 square feet of the west side of the building for 11-cents a square foot, or $3,500 a month for two years, with one year options. This would generate revenue of $84,000 over the two-year lease period, and recuperate part of the money spent on the building’s purchase.

In addition, Cryovac would pay all maintenance costs, utilities, and property taxes associated with the lease. The city would carry insurance on the building and Cryovac would carry insurance on their contents.

In other business, the council approved an increase in water rates for bulk water sold through the city’s water treatment plant. New charges for water picked up at the water plant include:
0 to 500 gallon container - $4;
501 to 1,000 gallon container - $7;
1,001 to 1,500 gallon container - $11;
1,501 to 2,000 gallon container - $14;
2001 to 5,000 gallon container - $20; and
Tank truck holding over 5,000 - $28.

The new rates will go into effect with the November billing cycle for bulk water customers.

The city manager was authorized to advertise for bids for concrete work to be performed in conjunction with the city’s street rebuild/repair program.

The council also approved the re-platting of lots located on the corner of N. Yosemite and W. Aldine.

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