After more than an hour of discussion during its Oct. 25 workshop, Windermere Town Council could not reach an agreement on lease terms for the town’s five boathouses.
The new 20-year agreement for current occupants, presented during the Oct. 12 Town Council meeting, places rental values on the number of boat slips in each unit. However, the issue of compensating current occupants for surrendering boathouse ownership could not be resolved. Answers remained out of reach during the Oct. 25 workshop.
“If a current leasee decides not to move forward, they would get a cash buy-out of x dollars,” said Council Member Bill Martini of the compensation proposal. “If they decided to move forward, that same amount would be divided out, resulting in a proportionately lower lease rate.”
“I don’t know how the taxpayers are going to accept that,” said Council Member Chris Sapp. “Secondly, I don’t see how it’s fair and equitable for the owners.”
Town Council was also unable to decide on a fair process for re-allocating boathouses to new leasees. “As we sit here tonight, I don’t think we have the support to bring (the lease agreement) back to the next meeting,” said Windermere Mayor Jim O’Brien.
Council members were able to agree on the need for public input and additional talks with current boathouse occupants. Another workshop will be scheduled before the lease agreement can be added to a future meeting agenda. Current boathouse leases will remain on a month-to-month basis until the matter is resolved.