Lansing P.O. fate in hands of county board

Published 9:43 am Monday, June 13, 2011

The fate of Lansing’s Post Office could be decided Tuesday.

The county board is set to decide whether to enter into a one-year lease with U.S. Postal Service at its board meeting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. If the board renewed the lease, it would intend to transfer the property to new owner Dave Thompson.

Thompson bought the property during a county tax forfeiture auction, but he is still trying to finalize ownership papers. The lease on the property, which is currently held by the county, expires July 1.

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While board members have indicated they want to assist the sale process, they have serious concerns about the Postal Service’s lease.

County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said the lease contains some serious risks for the county, especially if Thompson’s deal goes awry.

“If anything falls apart, you are still going to remain the lease holder,” she said during the last meeting.

Nelsen, who noted she and the county have nothing against the Postal Service, warned of serious legal stipulations in the lease.

The document states the lease holder is responsible for any repairs to damaged materials, like the air conditioning or any part of the building.

Another clause says the Postal Service could order the lease holder to rebuild the property, should the post office be destroyed in a fire or other event.

Nelsen said the lease is legally one-sided in favor of the U.S. Postal Service, especially when the Postal Service only pays about $3,000 in rent per year.

During it’s The county board tabled the issue during its last meeting.

Board of equalization

Tax payers who think their property value is too high have a chance to argue their case Tuesday.

At 6 p.m., the county will host its annual meeting for the board of equalization. Tax payers can come to argue issues with their taxes, like property value and a property’s classification. Five residents are scheduled.

“Most people come because they see their value increase,” County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said.

Many residents commonly mix up the board of equalization with the December budget and levy hearing.

However, walk-ins are difficult. Before residents can argue their case with the board of equalization, they must go before their local board, like their township or city of Austin board.