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September 5, 2018 - 1:39pm

County asked to extend lease for building that houses DSS, other county agencies

posted by Howard B. Owens in Department of Social Services, news, batavia.

It's time to replace the 20-year-old roof at 5130 E. Main St., where the county keeps offices for Department of Social Services and Mental Health, but before the building owners invest that kind of money, they would like to know that their current tenants will remain in place through 2027.

R&J Enterprises of Batavia LLC is asking for a lease extension.

County legislators wanted to get assurances before making that kind of commitment, that there are no known code violations at the location and no other known problems, such as potential mold.

There have been some leaks in the aging roof.

Chad LaCivita, from R&J, and Tony Mancuso, Mancuso Commercial Realty, met Tuesday with the Human Services Committee.

LaCivita said because leaks have always been repaired quickly, there's no evidence mold has developed.

David Rumsey, director of Social Services, said R&J have been good landlords.

"Every time have a problem they’re right on it," Rumsey said. "It is an old building and old buildings have problems and the problems get fixed."

The building was originally constructed for Twin Fair Department Store, later becoming Ames, and the county moved some of its operations to the location after Ames closed in 2001.

A new roof isn't the only upgrade R&J is considering.

"We're looking at replacing HVAC units over next two years and we're also going to make some cosmetic changes to make the offices more enjoyable," LaCivita said.

Committee Chairman Andrew Young said he would support a lease extension but he wasn't comfortable doing it under the pretense of an agreement to put on a new roof and new HVAC. To him, he said, that's the responsibility of the landlord anyway.

"I'm going to support it for different reasons," Young said. "From what I understand, you guys are great landlords and we need that building."

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