Council votes to terminate Main Street Milton lease

Ramon Rios

MILTON — The city has taken the first step in terminating their lease agreement with Main Street Milton for the Milton Events Center.

The City Council voted 6-1 last week to terminate the city’s lease agreement with MSM. Additionally, the council asked the city attorney to send a certified document to MSM for the return of all funds belonging to the city.

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Council member Shannon Rice voted against terminating the lease agreement, stating the action was harsh and too quick.

The reason for the terminating the lease agreement is MSM’s non-compliance with the agreement terms, said City Manager Randy Jorgenson.

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“I met with the president of Main Street (Cassandra Sharp) a couple of weeks ago and I asked her at that time what her intent was as an organization, what her intent was under the lease,” Jorgenson said. “(Sharp) indicated she’d get back to me. To date I have not heard anything.”

Meeting documents identified 10 items required by the lease agreement that MSM was supposed to do to use the events center. Seven of the 10 items were highlighted as examples where MSM was non-compliant.

An example of MSM’s non-compliance given at the meeting was the group not providing room setup for all scheduled events, including setting up tables, chairs and audio/video equipment. Events have continued on schedule due to the city stepping in and using their employees, time and resources to take care of the work MSM was not providing.

Jorgenson said this has been going on since October 2019, when the city voted to cancel its Memorandum of Understanding with MSM.

The council also instructed the city attorney send a certified document to MSM requesting the return of $15,000 the organization received from the city’s Commercial Facade Program.

“They can’t comply with the terms of this lease,” Jorgenson said. “I would ask council to direct staff to have staff, and legal council if necessary, find them in violation and severe the lease agreement.”

On Aug. 22, 2018, the city entered into a lease agreement with MSM and the Milton Garden Club, establishing the conditions, extent and terms necessary for each party to use the Event Center property.

Under the agreement, the city has to give MSM a 90-day notice of termination, according to Jorgenson.

Council member Jeff Snow was not present for last week’s meeting.