Brynn Grimley writes:
OK it’s not really a twist per se, but hey I have to do something to get readers, right?
At today’s Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority board meeting, executive director Tony Caldwell introduced some new information to the debate about moving the authority from Silverdale to the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton. But there wasn’t much of a discussion because the three county commissioners were not at the meeting. (They’ve been the most vocal about seeing the agency move to Bremerton).
Here’s what Caldwell reported:
He met with the agency’s bond counsel from Foster Pepper to discuss the agency’s options for finding a tenant for the space (other than the housing authority). The representative told Caldwell two things.
One: Under the terms of the bonds used to pay for the housing authority’s portion of the building, the authority could sell the space to another entity (private or public) as long as the proceeds were applied to repaying the bonds.
Previously the board questioned if the authority’s hands were tied because they didn’t know if the bonds restricted what percentage of the building could be occupied by private business. This new information gives the authority more opportunity to find a potential buyer for the space because it can look outside of the public sector.
Two: The authority can lease the space to any entity — public or private — using a rolling lease system. Meaning every 50 days the agency could renew its lease with a tenant, which gives more flexibility to who can fill the space. But if the authority wanted to enter into a long-term lease, like a one-year lease, it would only be able to do that with a public agency.
Again the authority thought it could only lease the space to local government entities, and hasn’t looked outside of the public sector for potential tenants because it thought its hands were tied. Now it knows it can enter into a month-to-month lease with either a public or private business/agency.
Also of note, but not discussed at the meeting, was this from Caldwell’s executive report:
He has been contacted by someone who is interested in buying the authority’s office space along Bayshore Drive in Silverdale. The person would like to buy the building and lease it back to the authority.
Because there wasn’t a quorum at the meeting, and because the county commissioners were not in attendance, there really wasn’t much of a conversation about this new information. KCCHA chairman Lary Coppola and board member Becky Erickson both expressed interest in the details that the authority could now appeal to the private sector. But Caldwell wasn’t given any direction for how to move forward. (Although in his executive report he asks for board permission to “make inquiries about potential interest” based on the new information.)
At the board’s May meeting Caldwell was given until July to find an alternative to moving to Bremerton. He has since explored other options and identified several locations throughout the county that are vacant and would support all of the agency’s departments in one location. There would still be the need for tenant improvements no matter where the agency relocates, but Caldwell said he believes the changes would not be cost prohibitive.
We’ll see what the July meeting brings.
(In May I reported the board gave Caldwell until July to find an alternative to the move. Use the links in the story to read previous articles regarding this topic. The May story can be found here.)