Notes from the Aug. 29 Selectmen's Meeting
Board delays decisions on extensions for the Munroe Center and Busa Farm.
The Board of Selectmen Monday delayed extending a $2,000-per-month lease renewal that would allow the Munroe Center to continue on as a local hub for the arts.
The delay came after Selectman George Burnell suggested he would like to see the rate increase gradually, so that it would eventually approach the $100,00-per-year figure estimates have said the town could fetch for renting out the property.
While the town has foot the bill for capital improvements, such as fire protection and suppression upgrades in the building, officials said Munroe Center tenants cover costs of heat, gas, utilities, maintenance and most repairs.
As the license agreement comes up every 90 days, the next being in November, officials said they would like to see some more precise accounting and hear from Town Manager Carl Valente and representatives from Munroe before making a decision.
“I don’t know what Mr. Burnell has in mind for increasing the licensing fee, but if it is, I think it should be minimal,” said Selectman Norm Cohen. “The Munroe Center is a very important player in the Lexington community and, until we have a final decision about the use of that building, I would hope that we support them.”
The selectmen also delayed authorizing a one-year lease extension for Dennis Busa to continue using the Busa Farms property for which the board is currently weighing re-use proposals from recreation, farming and housing groups.
Selectmen Chairman Hank Manz was supportive of exploring the extension, saying he believed it would take at least another year to make a decision and go through the Request for Proposals process in order to re-use the now town-owned property.
However, Selectman Peter Kelley questioned whether granting Busa an extension would compromise the town’s ability to explore an agreement with another person or organization looking to use the farm as is.
While no decision was made at the board’s Aug. 29 meeting, they are expected to make a decision soon, as a vote by mid-September would give Busa enough time to lock in orders for the next growing season.