Preservation association has Perryville in a 'bind' over properties
Preservation association has Perryville in a 'bind' over properties (Kendra Peekemail@example.com / January 11, 2013)
“It’s really put us in a bind and, to be frank about it, they know they’ve put us in a bind,” Councilman Brian Caldwell said during the meeting.
About 20 years ago, the city, which owns many of the Merchants Row properties and others in Perryville, entered into a 99-year lease with the PBPA, which was focused on historical preservation of the properties.
“The economy was booming at that time, historical preservation was a focus. Now, things are much, much different,” said Lynne Coleman, Perryville city attorney.
Now, the PBPA is in a very different state, financially, as the council shared that the association has no money left.
Additionally, there are properties in the city that are owned by the PBPA, which the association sought to turn over to the city. Coleman has advised against transferring those properties until the title searches can be done. There are historical easements in place on some of the properties; however, it is still being determined which are affected.
“We know the easements exist. They just haven’t been filed,” she said.
The properties are currently being examined by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Department of Transportation to determine which have easements on them.
These easements have made the City Council uneasy, prompting it at an earlier meeting to vote against accepting the properties until the easement issue is figured out.
According to council members, when they did not accept the easements, the PBPA did not disband. Therefore, the two entities are still in a binding lease on the properties owned by the city, putting any decisions on those on hold.
One of the buildings, the community center building, is owned by the city, leased by the PBPA and subleased from the association by Main Street Perryville. That lease is separate from the 99-year lease between the entities and it was set to expire on July 1. However, the space is still occupied by Main Street Perryville, via the PBPA, as the association has not disbanded.
Merchants Row businessman Paul Webb said he filed an open records request and determined that no rent has been paid to the city on the upstairs portion of the community center building since the end of August.
“That’s $600 a month that the city has not seen,” Webb said.
According to Caldwell, that lack of payment is directly related to the PBPA being still in existence, despite having said they would disband. However, after much discussion, the council authorized Coleman to begin negotiations directly with Main Street Perryville on the space in the community center building.
The status of the PBPA is continuing to plague the council, which cannot break the 99-year lease they have with the association.
Coleman said after the meeting that the city needs to get out of the lease they hold with the PBPA so they can move forward with the properties they own.
To do so, the council authorized her to contact the PBPA in an effort to encourage the association to break the 99-year lease. The new council then followed in the same path as the previous council during the Dec. 6 meeting, by authorizing Coleman to draft a three-year lease of the Merchants Row properties that are owned by the city. They plan to enter the agreement with the Economic Development Partnership.
At previous meetings, complaints have been voiced about the lack of city involvement in the city-owned properties that were leased to the PBPA. Councilman Caldwell encouraged those present that the new council will be more involved in the issue than previous councils have been.
That sentiment was echoed by Councilman Billy Matherly, who assured residents the council will be more thoughtful in its decisions regarding the properties.
“There’s been hasty decisions made, and we are having to take the brunt of that,” Matherly said. He stressed that this council does not want to leave future councils in the situation that the current members are regarding the property issues.