By Patricia Bogumil

Interim editor

Maybe the 99-year, $1/year lease on the Waterford Town Hall can be broken.

Maybe it can’t.

But either way, maybe it won’t ever really matter.

On March 7, commissioners with the Waterford Sanitary District (WSD) asked their attorney, John Macy, to check through all documentation associated with the building’s 99-year lease, which was set up in 1988.

Under the terms of that agreement, WSD is owner and landlord of the municipal building, and rents out space for town offices and the town police department for $1 annually.

But that kind of a deal does not come near covering the building’s operating costs, commissioners have explained.

At the March 7 meeting, Macy accepted his assignment, advising: “Send me all the information, just don’t send me what you want to occur.”

He then ran through his understanding of the commissioners’ assignment:

• find out whether the lease is an enforceable legal document;

• find out if WSD can get out of the lease; and

• find out if WSD can sell the building, either way.

Commissioner Jeff Santaga, who is a corporate attorney, told the Waterford Post March 5 that the town hall lease appears to be “very valid.”

“As an attorney, I haven’t seen anything here to break the contract of the lease,” Santaga said.

On March 7, Santaga supported asking Macy to conduct a thorough review of the lease and all associated documents on hand at the time it was written.

“Let’s hear a professional review of it,” Santaga said.

Commissioner Donna Block later told the Waterford Post via that town records show a total of 2,548  households. Of those, 75 percent, or 1,925, are in the sanitary district; the others are not.

Town Chairman Bob Langmesser said March 13 that he understands the lease to be legal and binding and feels paying money to an attorney to review it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“As town chairman and a taxpayer, I have concerns about what they’re doing,” Langmesser said.

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