I wasn't aware that the City of Salem was leasing the old O'Brien auto dealership site north of downtown until I read about this in a recent Statesman Journal story, "Salem preps old dealership for homeless warming shelter."
The city of Salem dispatched staff Tuesday to ready the old O’Brien Auto Group space for the homeless to use as a warming shelter while coming winter nights are expected to dip below freezing.
...The city leases the O’Brien property, which would have been the site for a new police facility if the measure to fund it hadn’t failed this November.
I knew that the City had an option to buy the O'Brien property, but the lease was news to me. So I asked Courtney Knox Busch, who works in the City Manager's office, to send me a copy of the lease agreement. Here it is.
Download O'Brien Site Lease_Council Report 6_27_16
The City of Salem (tenant) isn't paying any cash to Shires Property, LLC (landlord) for a lease of the 37,320 square feet of space in five buildings on 3.51 acres that runs from June 28, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
Instead, the City is responsible for paying all costs of utilities, insurance, property taxes and maintenance of the O'Brien property.
What the City of Salem is directly paying for is an option to buy the property. The option is to be paid for in two $50,000 chunks.
First option payment: $50,000 on or before December 1, 2016, which doesn't apply to a potential purchase of the property. I'm not sure if this payment has been made. I'll ask Busch if it has. Seemingly it should have been, because there's a Plan B proposal for a new police facility following the defeat of the $82 million bond measure in the November election.
[Update: Yes. Busch told me the first payment was made.]
Second option payment: $50,000 on or before March 1, 2017, which does apply to a potential purchase of the property. The option to buy ends on May 31, 2017.
So, assuming the City of Salem made the first payment after the police facility bond measure failed, another $50,000 payment will have to be made to preserve an option to buy the property. Since the earliest a Plan B could be voted on is after March 1, and the option expires on May 31, there's only a narrow window to submit a revised police facility plan to voters without extending the lease/option agreement.
It's clear that simply submitting the same $82 million proposal that failed in the November election would be an insult to the will of voters and have little chance of passing. Thus City officials don't have much time to reach out to the Salem community and come up with a collaborative revised proposal that, hopefully, includes the key items in the above-mentioned Plan B: