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City and Labor Dept. agree on lease terms

Cairo city officials are anxious to close on the purchase of the former Bank of America building so that the facility can be remodeled to accommodate the Cairo office of the Georgia Department of Labor.
City Manager Chris Addleton updated the city council on the project Monday night and presented a lease agreement for council approval.
“The city attorney has completed all the title work, so we’ve done all the work required on our end. Now, we are just waiting on the Bank of America lawyers to do what they have to do on their end,” Addleton said.
The city manager is also anxious to receive official notification of “no further action required” from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division regarding environmental issues on the property from previous underground fuel tanks.
Under the terms of the lease agreement, the Georgia Department of Labor will lease the facility at a fixed monthly rate of $4,751. The terms of the lease are for one year, but it also includes nine optional renewal terms, which would run through June 30, 2021, with the rate remaining at $4,751 per month.
Addleton told councilmen Monday night the lease rate would cover the debt service and the renovations of the facility. Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas suggested a contingency fund be established to cover any future maintenance of the facility.
The city manager agreed and said once the city has firm prices for the renovations, he may have to adjust the financing to build in a reserve for the project.
“We may have to go 15 years rather than 10 years,” Addleton said.
The purchase price of the former bank building is $150,000, but the city must renovate and remodel the facility to meet the requirements of the Department of Labor and that cost is estimated to be between $300,000 and $350,000.
The city manager says the city will solicit bids from the local banks for 100 percent financing of the project to be paid back over 10 to 15 years.
In response to questions concerning the lease, Addleton pointed out the city would be responsible for routine maintenance such as replacing light bulbs and serving the heating & air system, as well as plumbing. The city is not responsible for landscaping maintenance or custodial service.
The lease has already been approved by state officials and signed by Commissioner Mark Butler. Monday night, the council unanimously authorized Mayor Richard VanLandingham to execute the lease on behalf of the city.
The target date to move in and the effective date of the lease is Nov. 1, 2011, but the city manager admits that is a tight schedule.
“There are provisions in the lease if we are not complete with the renovations by Oct. 31,” Addleton said.

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