The Kingston senior center is expected to move into a commercial office building on Third Avenue behind the Arby’s fast food restaurant, but a temporary lease was necessary to keep the center on Wyoming Avenue until the new space is ready, officials said.
County Council voted at a special meeting Monday night to pay Towson Realty LLC $6,000 per month to sub-lease space at 680 Wyoming Ave. for up to three more months.
The county had leased the Wyoming Avenue space from property owners James and Frances Miller, but the owners decided to lease the property to Towson Realty in February after the county’s lease expired, officials said.
County Agency on Aging Director Trula Hollywood said her agency heard last spring the building might be leased to someone else, but the owners did not provide written verification until Oct. 29.
Agency staffers examined eight other prospective new locations during the summer and fall, but these property owners did not provide lease proposals as expected when the county issued a request for proposals in December, she said.
The county submitted a new request in January and received several lease offers, she said.
The agency staff selected the Third Avenue building because it has ample parking and will cost $5,000 with utilities included, Hollywood said.
The Agency on Aging office is in the process of preparing the new lease to be presented to county council for its approval, she said.
The approval process had been delayed because one of the owners of the Wyoming Avenue property indicated Feb. 8 that the lease to Towson was not expected to go through, she said. However, Hollywood said the property owners contacted her office Feb. 21 to say the Towson lease was finalized Feb. 20.
Kingston resident Brian Shiner complained about the $6,000 temporary lease amount, saying it was $1,765 more per month than the prior lease of $4,235.
Hollywood said Towson initially wanted $7,000 per month but agreed to reduce the payment $1,000. She said short-term leases are often pricier. The county must continue paying utilities at the Wyoming Avenue site, she said.
The Third Avenue location should be remodeled and ready for occupancy in about six weeks, but Hollywood said she wanted to keep the old location for up to three months as a precaution because she didn’t want to disrupt elderly clients.
The Kingston senior center has been located at the Wyoming Avenue property around 18 years, she said.
Senior centers provide meals and social activities. The county aging office, which also covers Wyoming County, operates 18 senior centers, Hollywood said.
County Interim Human Services Director Mary Dysleski said she hopes the new Kingston location will attract more citizens. Attendance has tripled at the Dallas senior center, which recently moved into the Twin Stacks Center, she said.