Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 19:08
Officials have second thoughts about offering space to private company
Plans to lease the vacant space at the Belgium Fire Department that once served as Village Hall are on hold after the
Village Board agreed to table discussions with Green Industrial last week.
On Dec. 1, the villageâ€™s Finance and Personnel Committee agreed to a one-year lease with the company at 281 Commerce St. to use the nearly 1,300-square-foot space for training.
The company was to pay the village $250 a month plus 22% of the utilities the village pays at the building at 195 Commerce St.
On Dec. 8, Village President Rich Howells told the board that the lease is on hold.
â€śThey didnâ€™t give any reasons why, but I asked if it was something in the most recent contract that they didnâ€™t like and they said no,â€ť Howells said.
Village Trustee Jason Acevedo said he wants to see civic groups like the Boy Scouts use the space instead of a private company.
â€śIf weâ€™re only going to ask for $250 a month, why arenâ€™t we just giving it to the fire department?â€ť Acevedo asked.
With village officials having moved to a new Village Hall last month, there has been discussion about what to do with the vacant space.
One option is for the village to donate it to the fire department, which owns 77% of the building.
The village and town of Belgium share the fire department, with the town paying 60% of utility costs.
With the lease on hold, Trustee Vickie Boehnlein suggested a Committee of the Whole meeting to get the publicâ€™s opinion on what to do with the space.
â€śWe need to seriously consider donating this to the fire department,â€ť Boehnlein said. â€śThey need the space.â€ť
Trustee John Hise said the tabled agreement with Green Industries was for one year so the village could â€śdecide what it wants to do with the space.
â€śObviously weâ€™d like to hear from the public once we have a direction on this,â€ť he said.
Howells suggested the new Village Hall could be used for civic group meetings.
â€śMaybe I havenâ€™t gotten the word out enough, but they are more than welcome to come here,â€ť he said. â€śNobody has approached us.â€ť
Boehnlein said securing the office space at the new hall should be a priority before any groups could use the hall.