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12/31/2013 11:21:00 AM
Humboldt Station OK for Dewey-Humboldt Town Hall - for now
The Town of Dewey-Humboldt has leased this row of office space from council member Mark McBrady since 2005. In this 2009 photo, residents congregate in the parking lot of Town Hall during a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that drew an unusually large number of participants.
Trib FilePhoto/Sue Tone
The Town of Dewey-Humboldt has leased this row of office space from council member Mark McBrady since 2005. In this 2009 photo, residents congregate in the parking lot of Town Hall during a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that drew an unusually large number of participants.
Trib FilePhoto/Sue Tone

Sue Tone
Reporter


Every two years, the Dewey-Humboldt council must decide whether to renew its lease with Humboldt Station owner and council member Mark McBrady. The council decided in a 5-1 vote, with Vice Mayor Dennis Repan opposing and McBrady recused, to extend the lease for another two years.

Council member Arlene Alen wanted an "open and frank discussion" during the Dec. 17 council meeting to negotiate possibly shortening the time frame of the lease, discussion about improvements and the need for more space.

"The town manager is put in a position to negotiate with the landlord who is her boss," Alen said. "I don't think we've had serious discussion on this lease - not for lack of trying."

Council, in executive sessions, has had numerous discussions as the Dec. 31 deadline to sign the 2-year extension approached. McBrady must recuse himself as a council member from those discussions.

From a business and political aspect, Repan said he thought the town was paying too much and didn't understand a previous rate increase. He also questioned whether signing the extension was a decision made for the financial benefit of a council member.

"We owe it to our constituents to get the best deal we can," Repan said. "Am I willing to put my political stand in the community in jeopardy by voting in the affirmative?"

McBrady said he was not on the council when the town entered into the original lease.

"It's the same lease, the same price. I have not changed one cent," he said. The only change has been the addition of an interrogation space in the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office substation that McBrady renovated at his own expense, he said.

"I understand this council doesn't want to be here," he said, adding that he could turn the office space into apartments if council chose not to renew the lease. He said he has borne tax increases and other rising costs without passing them on to the town.

McBrady couldn't answer whether he would consider a 1-year lease, and said if the town wanted to go month to month, he would increase the rent. The town signed a letter of intent to renew the lease six months ago.

"It's now the eleventh hour. I didn't cause this to happen," he said.

Council member Jack Hamilton agreed, adding that time had run out for renegotiation and the council was not in consensus with what it wanted.

Town Attorney Susan Goodwin stressed that looking at a town hall property acquisition "takes a long time." She asked McBrady if he would allow a 1-year lease, and McBrady said no.

"For six months, we've been discussing this," Repan said. "We have our back against the wall and that's our fault. I don't believe our home is here."

Council member Nancy Wright agreed, saying that, as each lease extension comes up, the council says it ought to do something.

"We need to be proactive and do it now," Wright said.

Council approved the lease extension, which will run from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014
Article comment by: Outback Resident

@Tom the homes on Outback road are NOT in Prescott Valley.

Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Article comment by: tom _

This council drag there feet. The old Shucks lumber sold for $750,000 All the heating and A/C equipment was new. Look at what they would have gotten for the money. Then they would have had a red light and lower speeds. These people need to give up on main street in Humboldt and do what is right for the tax payer. Some people will say that by the town renting the state is getting property tax. Who do you think is paying the tax the renter. Property tax money does not go to local government so if town owned its buildings it would be tax free. A savings to the town of about $10,000 a year.

One more item I Listen to the last town council meeting why is the town maintaining Out Back Road it was stated the road only serves homes that are in Prescott Valley. The town needs to post a sign primitive road not maintain travel at your own risk. This town has so many roads in poor condition why is it maintain a road that no town residents use.




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