Lower rent price discussed

EBENSBURG — Be­cause a tenant’s funding was reduced, Ebensburg Borough officials on Mon­day debated lowering the rent for space in the basement of the Young Peoples Community Center.

The basement of the borough-owned community center at 300 Prave St. has been leased to the Cambria County Child Development Corp., but a lease with the corporation expired at the end of last year, Borough Manager Dan Penatzer said.

The corporation rented the entire basement at a rate of $11.17 per square foot, which resulted in an annual revenue of $43,120 a year, Penatzer said.

All utilities except for phones, cleaning and information technology work are covered by the borough, he said.

Still, budget cuts mean the corporation can no longer afford to rent the entire space, Penatzer said.

“They know they are not going to get funding,” he said. The corporation has only $20,000 available for annual rent costs, which would allow for a 2,203-square-foot section of the basement at a rate of $9.08 per square foot per month, Penatzer said.

An offer has been made by PA CareerLink to rent the remaining 1,277 square feet at a rate of $11 per square foot, Penatzer said.

The agencies would share a kitchen, a conference room and bathrooms.

“They are related agencies,” Penatzer said. “Those two agencies do work together regularly.”

By leasing to the two agencies at those specified rates, the borough would receive $34,050 annually — a nearly $9,000 decrease from 2017.

But Councilman Dave Kuhar said he still was in favor of the deal.

“If we don’t take those offers, how long is it going to sit vacant,” he said, explaining the local leasing market is not great.

But Council President Doug Tusing expressed some concerns about letting the tenants dictate their own prices.

“Typically, when someone goes from a larger space to a smaller space, the square footage price goes up, not down,” he said.

Then Tusing asked for further conversations about the proposed leasing deal to be held in a closed-door executive session.

“I don’t really feel comfortable about negotiating this in public,” he said.

The state permits executive sessions for the discussion of real estate matters.

Council members en­tered an executive session at the end of their meeting and said that a decision likely would not be made about the lease agreements Monday night.

A lease probably would be for a period of three to four years, Penatzer said.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.