McKeesport sets leasing policy for city's office space

Ending a long-running discussion that evolved after former mayor state Sen. James Brewster began to rent his former mayor's office in city hall, McKeesport Council on Wednesday (3-7-12) unanimously approved a uniform policy for tenants leasing office space owned by the city.In recent months, the city hired a real estate appraiser to set rates for a variety of office space that the city owns. The new policy enables the mayor to set a different rate than those approved rates --higher or lower than the rates depending upon the case -- with the approval of council.

At its precouncil meeting on Tuesday, city officials discussed the discretionary clause in the leasing policy. Initially, council member Fawn Walker-Montgomery didn't like it. "I don't think the mayor should have cause to negotiate a special rate," she said.

"If I have any deviation whatsover, [council] will have the right to say 'No,'" Mayor Michael Cherepko said, adding that there is a good chance that the city will actually charge a higher rate than those recommended by the real estate expert. "The only possible reduction would be McKeesport Development Corporation ... The other tenants will be paying a fair rate."

First Published 2012-03-08 00:21:56