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City Council to consider purchasing office

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Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:00 pm

The Lodi City Council will meet tonight at Carnegie Forum, but it will spend part of its meeting discussing the tile-roofed office building directly across the street.

For more than a year, the city has planned to move its finance department out of the office, at 300 W. Pine St., spurred by a desire to save on the annual $135,700 rent it pays.

Now it has got an option to stay and buy the building.

Owner and local businessman Russ Munson has offered to sell it to the city for an undisclosed amount.

Council members will mull the offer during a closed session before the meeting's 7 p.m. open session starts.

Later in the meeting, the council is scheduled to vote on a contract to renovate the city-owned courtroom at the west end of the former police headquarters - in anticipation of moving the finance department in.

That project is expected to cost up to $750,000, according to a city report.

Munson explained during a brief interview Tuesday morning why he has offered to sell the office.

Lodi City Council meeting

When and where: 7 p.m. tonight at Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Also on the agenda for tonight's Lodi City Council meeting:

  • Public hearing to consider uses of Community Development Block Grant Program funds.
  • Receive design guidelines for transit-oriented development for Downtown.

"As an additional option, I said: 'Rather than spending all that money (on renovations for a new building), why don't you buy the (existing) building?'" he said.

Munson owns and operates Wine and Roses, the upscale hotel and restaurant on Turner Road.

He was given exclusive rights a year ago to work with the city to develop Downtown hotel plans. Munson said the search for a Downtown hotel site is on-hold due to a poor economy. His exclusive rights with the city have expired, confirmed City Spokesman Jeff Hood.

Munson added that his offer to sell the office building has nothing to do with developing a future hotel in Lodi.

Ironically, the site of the old police headquarters, at 210 W. Elm St., was suggested more than two years ago by a city consultant as a possible site for a Downtown hotel.

That building still houses Lodi Fire Station No. 1 and a police firing range.

City and business leaders have pushed for a Downtown hotel to bolster Lodi's emerging tourism industry.

City spokesman Jeff Hood said that tonight's meeting will be the council's first chance to hear Munson's offer.

Hood said he had not heard of any plans by city administrators to continue to use the leased building if and when the finance department moves out.

"The idea has been: You take advantage of the space the city owns," Hood said.

Contact reporter Chris Nichols at chrisn@lodinews.com.

(Editor's Note: This story was updated at noon Wednesday, Sept. 3 to clarify what part of the old police building would be renovated.)

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16 comments:

  • posted at 10:42 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Wow! they have been paying rent for over $11,000 a month for years. Put that money into already owned city buildings ie: Old P.D. station and move over a block.

     
  • posted at 9:46 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    observer and nellie, at least you let T&C have it with both barrel`s right between the eyes, rather than a dull knife in the back. He will answer back as soon as he finishes his soup.

     
  • posted at 8:44 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Thanks Nellie.....I've been around long enough to know how t&c and all of his other blog names operate. He's obviously never owned a business, been responsible for a budget or negotiated a deal in his life. All he's had to do is pick up his check every other week. I forgive him however because his must be miserable looking over his shoulder every minute of the day thinking that someone is out to screw him. It's really, really sad.

     
  • posted at 7:01 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    oops. omit "not"

     
  • posted at 7:00 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Observer and Max, you gotta remember who you're talking to: T&C! He does not understand the art and skill of negotiations. You examples were perfect, and notice how he did respond to those:With no surprise somehow T&C has turned this meeting/transaction into the water pollution case, Marty, and Phil. I'm just shocked he didn't add a bit about this purchase adding to already high water & electric rates.And to my surprise T&C didn't suggest that ol Bob Reeves and his insurance business was not dumping toxic insurance chemicals down their drains. roflmao!

     
  • posted at 6:04 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Oops, I forgot, my financial investor pulled out of mastercard and changed to visa and American Express. I just activated my new American Express platinum card, with the fees paid by my financial company. I guess that qualifies me for good ol' boy status, Too?

     
  • posted at 5:13 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Didn't they settle the ground pollution case "in secret", too? Why haven't we gotten the fine details on that and how much it cost each Lodian to bail Weybret"s News-Sentinel and Katzakian's Lodi printing out of their share of that $50,000,000?

     
  • posted at 5:10 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    I'm glad to see everyone has a good opinion of taNDC and not the comment at hand. It's because of you city cheerleaders, gob's, and hoochie koochie boys and girls that these meetings have to be secret. Wow, the suspense of buying a building for 10 times what it's worth is more than my Mastercard even offers. ROFLMAO

     
  • posted at 3:53 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Attn: Pinhead Bloggers. If Russ is giving the city a deal, do you think he wants that price out in the public if it falls thru ?? The deal will be public as required by law when price is agreed upon. If you sell your car and accept an "OBO", then the deal falls thru, do you want that buyer blabbing how little you were willing to take ? You people are long on keystrokes, short on thinking.

     
  • posted at 3:45 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    Why in the world would you ask the City to conduct their negotiations publicly? What a disadvantage that would be. Of course they will have to disclose the final purchase price but don't tie their hands during negotiations. This is a business transaction and should be conducted as such.

     
  • posted at 3:15 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    TandC = what a jerk!

     
  • posted at 3:10 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    As I read this article from my real newspaper I laughed and thought to myself, "Can't wait to read T&C's GOB rants & other conspiracy theories."And I was not disappointed.Well, except I really thought T&C would suggest that the GOB/CC backroom deal was held at an unauthorized meeting violating the Brown Act in some secret room at Wine & Roses.Really, that's what we've all come to expect from him.

     
  • posted at 2:16 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    I'm assuming that"disclosed" amount that Munson wants to sell it for must be the reason for the secret session in the "dark room"? Otherwise Mr. King and Hood would disclose the shady parts of this deal to this reporter. When are the private"dark side" dealings going to end? We elected you to run our town in an honest and acceptable manner according to OUR standards, not yours nor the good ol' boys or the dark side. What's so hard about being honest and up front? You city leaders and management are taking the News-Sentinel down on the sinking ship with you by restricting what they publish and how they say it. Your ignorance that thinking your own employees and confidants actually abhor you once quitting time rolls around and they just love to gossip and pour those martinis, double shots and wine coolers down and get loose lipped and the "just between you and me" truths are easily spread. You still haven't been up front about the ground pollution litigation and those "favors" done for those well-connected with you and the way you literally let them off scottfree. That information should be public by now.

     
  • posted at 2:02 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    I believe those buildings in that area and also the downtown area will need to be brought up to code and seismically retrofitted. It's cheaper to tear them down than start all over again. It's too costly aproject for the city to undertake. And being $250,000,000 in debt at this point in time, where will the city get the money? Maybe another government block grant scheme? I don't know if that'll work after the Salvation Army debacle to the tune of $350,000 or so the city has never rectified. A current years' lease, or about $135,000 would be a fair price for that old building that has signs of toxic molds in it from the old days.

     
  • posted at 1:56 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    So why the "secret" meeting? Why shouldn't the citizenry be party to this back door deal? This council is beginning to look like the Delta College Board, conducting business without a clue to its citizenry what's going on. They're already giving Munson concessions to keep the Rosewood going and now we get to further support his businesses? The city has to buy that property because no one else wants it and the city will pay twice what it's worth to one of its good ol' boys. This meeting should be public, not "secret". It is going to be a "secret" session, isn't it? That's what was discussed earlier, isn't it? $135,700 rent for that rundown little bit of space? Dump it and forget buying it. You're $250,000,000 in debt now and don't need to incur any further debt just to help out a good ol' boy. You should've stuck to your beautiful bed&breakfast business. The big time is too much for you to handle, Mr. Munson.

     
  • posted at 1:41 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2008.

    Posts:

    TO CORRECT the information: The area to be renovated is the former Court Building which is the far west building NEXT to the former Police Building. No work is being performed at the former Police Building.

     

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