Council approves leasing Destination Osoyoos building to Desert Sun, but no final decision or deal has been made

By on October 10, 2017

Town of Osoyoos council voted last Monday to agree to lease the current Destination Osoyoos office to the Desert Sun Resource and Counselling Centre, however, management with Desert Sun have not made any final decision as negotiations with the Town continue. (Keith Lacey photo)

Town of Osoyoos council has agreed to lease most of the space at the current Destination Osoyoos office on Main Street beside Town Hall to the Desert Sun Resource and Counselling Centre, but Desert Sun management has not made any commitment to moving from their longtime home on 72nd Avenue in Osoyoos.

It was incorrectly reported in the Oct. 4 edition of the Osoyoos Times that Desert Sun would move into the building once Destination Osoyoos vacates the premises located at 8701 Main Street beside Town Hall, effective the beginning of the new year.

At last Monday’s regular meeting, members of council voted in favour of leasing 860 square feet of space to Desert Sun.

Roxie Van Aller, the executive director of Desert Sun, said the organization has been in negotiations with the Town to lease space at the current Destination Osoyoos office, but no deal has yet been reached.

“We have been in discussions … but the board has not made any final decisions,” she said. “There are still some outstanding issues on our end.”

There will be three empty rooms in the building still available to be sub-leased and council will be in charge of leasing out that space if a deal with Desert Sun does move into the building.

Desert Sun, a local non-profit organization that runs numerous successful community programs including operating a safe house for women and children, was the only organization to apply to lease the space, said Janette Van Vianen, in a presentation to council Monday.

“The proposal is to lease the foyer, reception office and two other offices in the building for a total of approximately 864 square feet,” said Van Vianen. “To include the two washrooms would increase the square footage to 945 (all measurements are approximate).

“The total square footage of the building is 2,866 square feet, however, the Town does use a small portion for records storage and would not lease the building to any other group.”

The proposal presented to council would be for Desert Sun to pay $800 per month in leasing fees.

“In the past the Town has taken on the janitorial maintenance of the facility as well as the utility costs,” said Van Vianen. “Desert Sun has been provided information on the utility costs of the facility for a one year period which total $3,283.85 for electrical and $1,128.24 for gas. “The janitorial costs to the Town are approximately $2,200 per year. If Desert Sun were offered the rent of the property they could be made responsible for the utility costs which would be $4,412.09 per year or $367.67 per month.

Starting in January 2016 Destination Osoyoos paid $24,823 (plus CPI increase yearly) or $2,068 per month with utilities and janitorial included in the rent.

The Town would continue to insure the premises, however, Desert Sun would be responsible for insuring their contents and provide liability insurance, she said.

“This is the same agreement we had with Destination Osoyoos,” she said. “The Town would continue to maintain the outside of the building for sidewalk and parking lot snow removal and maintain the inside for lighting, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.

“If the property remains empty then the Town would be responsible for ensuring it is inspected on a regular basis for insurance purposes, and must keep the building temperature such to avoid the water pipes from freezing.”

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