Tulare County to pay $10,598.17 per month to Farmersville to lease 7,849 square feet of office space for HHSA
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
VISALIA – The Tulare County Board of Supervisors gave the okay last week for the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to start preparing to move into some unused office space at Farmersville city hall. Having HHSA move in is a great relief for Farmersville who stood to lose a massive amount of revenue if the building remained vacant.
Up until last year the Tulare County Fire Department occupied the 7,849 square feet of space, paying $9,440 per month. The fire department had been there since Jan. 8, 2007 until additional space at the newly purchased Cigna Building in Visalia on Akers became available last year. The County originally entered into a lease with Farmersville in April of 2000 as a venue for HHSA, before turning the lease over to the fire department.
“This is now available again for an agency training facility it once was previously,” stated John Hess, deputy county administrative officer for Tulare County.
This time HHSA will pay $1.35 per square foot bringing their monthly total to $10,598.17 per month. And, according to Farmersville mayor Paul Boyer, the City would have had been facing a much larger budget deficit had the County chosen to go in a different direction.
“This year our deficit in the general fund would have tripled without this money coming in,” said Boyer during last Tuesday’s, board meeting.
Former city manager John Jansons addressed the board as well to thank them for their willingness to partner with the City by agreeing to the lease. Board chairman Pete Vander Poel noted a conversation he and Jansons had when Jansons first arrived in 2015. Vander Poel said that the then new city manager spoke outside of a TCAG meeting about who would fill the office void when Tulare County Fire left. According to Vander Poel they both agreed that it was in the best interest of the County and the City to be in Farmersville so that the City stood to prosper and continued to benefit the strengths of the County.
“I appreciate the thinking outside the box [by HHSA] because like you said [John] cities and counties are in this together and the examples we have in Farmersville, whether it be the library, whether it be the senior center, whether it be police, shows how committed our county is to our cities. And how much our cities rely on us,” Vander Poel said.
The term of the lease is retroactive to July 1, 2017 including one 5-year option.