A lease is likely to be renewed between the city and Rivercrest Village after officials reached a compromise on rent rates for property located in the mobile home park.
On Thursday, the Finance & Personnel Committee approved to drop the annual rate from the previous proposal to $5,000 after the owners pushed back and said they wouldn't agree to the original, higher price.
The property in question is a small segment of the large South Side mobile home park that the city came to own after the construction of the Pammel Creek floodway channel. The city has rented the property out to Rivercrest Village since 1997.
That 25-year lease expired this year, but Rivercrest has inquired about purchasing it from the city, something a one-year lease would give staff time to explore.
The city previously looked at charging Rivercrest Village Properties $9,600 for the year-long lease extension, which is nearly triple what the owners paid last year. This new rate was due to a reassessment on the value of the property.
At a City Plan Commission meeting Monday night, a property manager of Rivercrest expressed that the owners were unwilling to renew the lease at that rate.
City planner Andrea Trane said that was the first time she had heard that.
"We knew that they weren't excited about that increase, obviously, but we hadn't heard that from them," Trane said. "They told us for the first time that they weren't going to sign that lease."
The City Plan Commission's response was to refer the decision on the lease for 30 days, but Trane said there was a sense of urgency to find a solution sooner.
This was in-part because of a clause that would require the six mobile homes on the property to be removed if the lease was not renewed, and Trane said thinking about what would happen to them moved the process along.
The owners of Rivercrest Village have agreed to the $5,000 annual rate, according to Trane.
This new lease still needs one final stamp of approval from the La Crosse Common Council next Thursday. If approved, officials would have until June 30, 2023 to determine whether the property could be sold or not.
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Olivia Herken is the local government reporter at the La Crosse Tribune and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism. She can be found on Twitter @oherken, and reached at 608-791-8217.