OAKLEY -- Council members extended a lease agreement with the Oakley Senior Citizens group from three to 10 years for a former fire station while pledging to offer financial support and seek federal grant funds to help with improvements so it can open next year.
As a result of Tuesday's 4-0 vote, the nonprofit will pay a monthly token of $1 to lease the building on Second Street for meetings and recreational activities through June 14, 2015. Discussions regarding a new lease rate for June 15, 2015, through June 14, 2023, will occur in February 2015. Under the old lease agreement, the monthly rent would have increased to $500 from June 15, 2015, through June 14, 2016.
Council members agreed to the amended lease agreement after the nonprofit indicated a lease agreement of at least 10 years would make it easier to make plans and do the needed improvements in the building.
"We have numerous offers to help (from local businesses), but they are reluctant to put in large sums of time and materials for a three-year lease," said Shirley Darling, communications director for the Oakley Seniors Group.
That's why amending the lease "makes perfect sense," said Mayor Kevin Romick.
"I know there are lots of people in our community that want to help to make this happen," council member Diane Burgis said.
The nonprofit also asked the city for financial help so that the restrooms and the kitchen can be remodeled to be accessible under the Americans With Disabilities Act. "The bathroom and the kitchen are the huge expense," said Darling, who estimated that the ADA improvements would cost about $150,000.
In December, the city plans to seek a federal grant of $150,000. If granted, it would be awarded in July 2014. In the meantime, staff plans to work with the nonprofit to determine what is needed financially to complete architectural drawings, according to Romick. Staff will then bring back a dollar amount for council members to consider at a later meeting
In other action, council members gave City Manager Bryan Montgomery a raise following his performance evaluation.
The unanimous vote on the consent calendar item boosts Montgomery's annual salary from $190,700 to $200,000, a 5.8 percent increase that other city employees also have received.
The action, which is retroactive to July 1, restores what Montgomery previously had been earning before taking a $9,230 cut in pay in March 2009, when the city instituted furloughs of city employees. The city eliminated the furloughs in May.
In addition, the city manager will receive an additional $4,420 in annual benefits: $35 more a month for his health insurance premium and $4,000 more toward his pension. The latter represents an additional 2 percent of what the city already is paying for Montgomery's -- and all other employees' -- share of the retirement benefit.
Montgomery was working under a contract with a finite term when he joined the city in December 2005, but it was extended indefinitely four years ago.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.