The Clinton County Board of Supervisors will let out for sealed bids for a County Farm Lease after discussing the matter for several weeks.
Typically, the county farm in Charlotte is leased in three-year intervals. However, two years ago, when the time came, the supervisors were unsure of the county’s plans for the DeWitt Annex and whether the farm might be sold to pay for future projects. At that time, the board decided to reduce the lease to a two-year agreement.
Last month, Supervisor Jill Davisson brought a proposal to the board from the current lease holders to extend the lease for one year. She felt the board still was unsure about what might happen with the DeWitt projects and what it wanted to do with the county farm. She did not know if they wanted to commit themselves to another three-year contract, but also felt a one-year contract was less than ideal. After discussion between the board and County Attorney Mike Wolf, Supervisor Brian Schmidt said during the Monday board meeting that he still felt they should not negotiate an extension or a new contract between one individual without going out for formal bids. The two-year contract did have a clause allowing for a one-year extension. However, the board approved terminating the lease at the end of the two years, before this proposal was made. Schmidt felt the extension would not be appropriate.
Schmidt also felt there was no need to limit the new lease contract to one year. He said it will probably be two years before the county can make the transfer for the DeWitt buildings and they have an amount budgeted to pay for some of the project costs. He said he felt comfortable with going out for bids for a three-year lease.
Davisson was bothered that these people were only given two years and now they will be offering three years. She said she likes to treat everyone consistently. Schmidt said he understood her point.
“At the same time, to enter back into an individual negotiation with them on a new lease for a year is unfair to others that wouldn’t have the opportunity because at the beginning it was only understood to be a two-year lease,” said Schmidt.
The board will vote on a resolution to go out for bids during the next meeting.