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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After confusion, Dunedin art center lease extended



Confusion over lease language nearly forced a two-week delay in Dunedin city commissioners’ vote to extend the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s lease on its city-owned building another 15 years to 2038.

City Manager Rob DiSpirito had recommended the new term, saying it will help the art center qualify for a state grant to fund a new wing and a construction loan. The grant requires that any expansion it funds operate at least 10 years, and banks require that loans be tied to leases of at least 20 years. DFAC’s current lease would have expired in 2023, nine years after the new wing’s expected completion.

When the item came up during last week’s commission meeting, Mayor Dave Eggers and Vice Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski asked that City Attorney Tom Trask, who didn’t write the agreement, be given time to review the lease as he does with all city agreements.

However, Commissioners Julie Scales and Ron Barnette didn't want to delay the vote. At their urging, Trask recommended language to make the document clearer and it subsequently passed a unanimous vote.

Eggers and Bujalski stressed that Trask must sign off on all future agreements before they come before commissioners.

Read documents and watch video from last Thursday's discussion here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 3:31pm]


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