Inyo Supes approve lease agreement for county offices
At Tuesday’s Inyo County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the Board approved the lease for the new county office building (COB).
According to a County of Inyo Agenda Request Form, the county will be leasing from Wolverine/Inyo LLC and will be located at 1360 N. Main St. in Bishop.
The Agenda Request form also stated that the size of the building is “set at 42,000 square feet” with a few added concepts, such as the “pushing of enclosed offices and interview rooms to the middle of the building in order to allow window access and natural lighting for group work areas, and the inclusion of an Area Resource Center with a shared lobby and common space for portions of Probation and Human Health Services.”
County Administrative Officer (CAO) Clint Quilter said that during the planning process they took into consideration two other facilities: the Cottonwood Plaza and the Old Kmart building. “None of the facilities were interested in selling at this time,” he said.
The new building will contain “Health and Human Services, Sheriff Sub-Station, Probation, District Attorney, County Counsel, Personnel, Risk, CAO, Ag Commissioner, Environmental Health, UC Extension, Motor Pool, Parks, Solid Waste, Public Administrator/Public Guardian, and Child Support Services,” Quilter told The Sheet.
The county has given itself 23-32 months to complete the project. “It is possible the building will be built and finished before the target date,” Quilter said.
The lease-purchase arrangement doesn’t have a specific purchase price. The estimated fair market value is $13,750,000.
The payment breakdown is complicated. The lease is for 20 years. The county will make a payment of $7.8 million at the beginning of the lease, followed by $250,000 payments in the fifth, tenth and fifteenth years of the lease. Rent, paid monthly, will cost $39,000.
Each department will pay an amount towards the lump sum, additional basic rent, and deferred additional basic rent proportional to the amount of floorspace that that department occupies in the building. The funds include the Accumulated Capital Outlay fund, Human Health Services Categorical fund, Sheriff AB443 fund, and Criminal Justice Realignment fund.
Supervisor Matt Kingsley reiterated what he sees as the importance of keeping some county services in Indpendence, but approves of the new building.
“If we approve this building, [it is the] right move for the County’s future,” Supervisor Kingsley said.
Supervisor Rick Pucci said, “The public will be well served by any building we do.”
On Monday, Quilter took the presentation to the Bishop City Council.
Supervisor Jeff Griffiths said that the City of Bishop has been concerned about the office space that Inyo will vacate when the new building is completed.
Quilter told Council that the county will not make initial payments until it moves into the building.
Councilmember Karen Schwartz expressed a concern about the parking spaces at the Grocery Outlet and the County of Inyo building. Quilter clarified that the new county building will have 263 parking spaces behind the building. Quilter said that court proceedings will remain in the courthouse.
This has been an eight year process leading up to Tuesday’s approval. In 2010, a Request for Proposals for the project was developed. In 2011, Inyo entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement. In 2013, project development continued with public meetings and supervisors directed staff to negotiate option, lease, and land transaction documents.
The negotiations were protracted, and the document development was stalled.
“Lease negotiations resumed two years ago and have resulted in more favorable lease terms and pricing for the County,” the Agenda Request Form stated.
“On June 12, 2018, staff and economic consultant Allan D. Kotin presented a cost analysis to the Board with two options for moving forward: A) lowered front-end payment and higher ongoing lease payments B) higher front-end payment and lower ongoing lease payments developed to leverage use of one-time monies for one-time payments and to maximize the positive impact to ongoing operational costs,” the County of Inyo Agenda Request Form stated.
The county chose option B.