A new year still brings in old business and Thursday night the Fayette County Board of Commissioners is expected to address the matter of the rental of the historic Fayette County courthouse now that the chamber of commerce has moved on to a new building.
Through its contract with the county, the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) has the ability to sub-lease additional space within the facility. Income from the lease space is provided to the county. The sub-lease contract with the Chamber of Commerce for first floor space has been in effect since 1997 and generated approximately $20,000 a year in rental income.
The Chamber’s recent decision to move to another facility effective January 1, leaves that first floor untenanted, though it has generated a bit of interest from local organizations. The interest ranged from the Main Street program, the Historical Society and members of the arts community and adding the possibility, from a staff perspective, it might be a good fit for the county extension service.
Only the Main Street Program has offered remuneration, in the amount of $500 a month.
At the last discussion, Brian Wismer, the Fayetteville Main Street Program and Downtown Development Authority, coordinator also noted,
“In addition to the Main Street Program we also represent the Downtown Development Authority. We create some synergy with the FCDA. We’re very used to accommodating visitors, since we operate the Welcome Center at The Depot.”
There is also the possibility of renting out the third floor of the chamber for events for added income.
Kathaleen Brewer, director of the ArtWorks on the Square, was also interested in the space.
“As you know, Fayette County is the only metro Atlanta county without an Arts Center. I find that ironic since we have the highest average household income, average household level of education and a growing retired population, all of which go hand-in-hand with participation in an arts center. In addition, locating an art center in a historic building downtown would most certainly draw more tourists to the area, plus it is close to two hotels and local restaurants.
“Artworks on the Square has already developed a strong infrastructure and a wide base of participants throughout the county. We have numerous top notch local instructors and quality local artists willing to interact with the public.”
At its workshop meeting, the commission didn’t have much discussion regarding the Artworks request.
On Thursday night, the board will be presented with a contract between itself and City of Fayetteville Mainstreet Tourism Association to sub-lease the vacated first floor of the Historic County Courthouse. According to the lease drawn up for presentation, the rent for the space will be $6,000 per year, paid in $500 monthly installments.