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Millennium Transit land lease to be reconsidered

Some city councilors want to re-examine the 40-year-old land lease for a Roswell International Air Center tenant. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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City Council votes for further consideration by committee

A decision about a land lease renewal for a Roswell International Air Center tenant has been delayed, returned to a committee for further consideration.

The Roswell City Council voted 9-0 Thursday to remove the lease renewal for Millennium Transit Services LLC from the consent agenda — where it would have passed along with other items without discussion — so that the matter can be reviewed again by the Council’s Legal Committee.

That committee had voted unanimously, 4-0, July 25 to advance the renewal agreement for full council consideration.

Councilor Caleb Grant was one of the City Council members who wanted the lease reconsideration, saying at the Thursday meeting that elected officials needed to consider “any way possibly of removing things from that lease or getting out of the lease or changing the price of the lease, because we are only halfway through that pretty much 80-year lease right now. So that is the reason for it, just to give us time to go through it again.”

He said in a later email that some city councilors had unanswered questions and that his primary concern was that they were being asked to consider an amendment to an original lease negotiated 40 years before that has the possibility of being in effect for another 40 years.

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“The circumstances were obvious(ly) different 40 years ago when this started,” he wrote. “I want to make sure the city exhaust(s) all options before approving a term extension.”

Millennium Transit owns the manufacturing facilities at 42 W. Earl Cummings Loop where it and a few predecessor companies once manufactured commercial passenger buses for government transit authorities until the business closed in 2008. Millennium took over the 10-acre land lease in December 2004, and the corporation is seeking to renew the lease for 10 additional years. The action represents the exercising of the second of five extensions allowed under the current lease agreement, according to city documents.

In consideration for the extension, Millennium Transit has agreed to pay 50% more. The corporation would pay $1,250 a month, or $15,000 a year.

James Ludvik, now the sole owner of Millennium Transit, did not return a phone call by press time, and an on-site employee did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Ludvik, who is also the chief executive officer of Ludvik Electric Co. based in Colorado, said in an interview last week that he was in negotiations to start a business at the Roswell facility, but that he could not provide details.

City Councilor Judy Stubbs, chair of the Legal Committee, said that she agreed to the reconsideration of the lease after learning that other City Council members had questions. She said she concurred that it would be best to check that the lease has the same types of provisions that current Air Center leases have.

“The big concern is that we keep adding (addenda) to a very old lease,” she said. “Personally, as chair of the Legal Committee, I agree that we need to look at it more seriously. And we have time.”

She explained that the lease does not have to be renewed for a few months, some time around November.

The Legal Committee is scheduled to meet Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 425 N. Richardson Ave.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.