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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

City might extend Dunedin Fine Art Center lease to help grant chances

Dunedin city commissioners on Thursday will consider a staff recommendation that they extend the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s lease another 15 years through 2038.

City Manager Rob DiSpirito says the new term would help the art center qualify for a state grant to fund a new wing and a construction loan.

That’s because the grant requires that any expansion it funds operate at least 10 years, while banks typically require that loans be tied to leases of at least 20 years. DFAC's current lease expires Aug. 31, 2023 — only nine years away from the new wing’s expected completion date of summer 2014.

"The extension to 2038 makes sense," DiSpirito wrote in a memo to commissioners.

The upcoming decision follows a controversial 4-1 vote, in which commissioners this February agreed to chip in $500,000 toward the DFAC’s effort to raise $1 million by July and, thus, qualify for the rare $500,000, 2-to-1 matching grant through the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

Mayor Dave Eggers cast the lone dissenting vote against the donation, saying the city had more urgent or delayed expenses to consider.

[Last modified: Sunday, June 2, 2013 2:40pm]


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