Leases OK’d for Head Start, County Offices

The Washtenaw County board of commissioners took action on two leases at its Aug. 7, 2013 meeting.

The board approved the 10-year lease of a county-owned Head Start building at 1661 Leforge Ave. in Ypsilanti to the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. [.pdf of lease agreement] The WISD is taking over management of the Head Start program from the county, which has administered it for over four decades. After considerable debate, the board made the decision in late 2011 to relinquish the Head Start program.

The county took out bonds to pay for the construction of the $2.29 million Head Start facility in 2002. Ten years remain on the bond repayment for a total of $1.66 million.

WISD will begin making payments in 2014. Annual payments vary, beginning with $166,862 by Oct. 1, 2014. [.pdf of rent payment schedule] After the final payment, the county would deed the Head Start building and surrounding 11-acre property to the WISD. During the term of the lease, WISD will pay for utilities and basic maintenance, but the county will be liable for structural issues with the building, including roof repairs, broken windows, and other repairs – unless the repairs are caused by WISD action.

In a separate resolution, the board approved a lease with Dahlmann Apartments Ltd. for space in the City Center Building at 220 E. Huron in Ann Arbor.

At its July 10, 2013 meeting, the board approved a broad strategic plan for county facilities. Part of that plan called for relocating the office of community and economic Development (OCED), office of infrastructure management, and the public defender’s office out of their current space in the county Annex building at 110 N. Fourth Ave. The lease approved on Aug. 7 will be for office space on the fifth and second floors of the City Center for the public defender and office of infrastructure management.

The county will pay $333,037 for the first year, with 3% increases each year after that. The term of the lease is nine years and five months, starting Sept. 1, 2013.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]