Monroe County has for many years used the City Place building at 50 West Main Street as an extension of its government offices. Several of its departments, from environmental services to probation, are located in the complex. The county clerk's downtown DMV services operate out of its lobby, too.
But the county doesn't own City Place. It leases the building and adjacent parking lots from Michael Spoleta Jr. and David Spoleta, the principals of Spoleta Construction, for approximately $1.7 million a year. That lease is up in 2018, however, and the county wants to buy City Place and the three adjacent parking lots from the Spoletas.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo is asking the County Legislature to authorize $10 million in financing for the purchase and an additional $2.4 million for renovations to the property. The "fiscally-responsible, forward-thinking move" should save the county $1.25 million a year, says county spokesperson Jesse Sleezer.
The purchase will, however, take the property off city tax rolls, though not entirely. The properties had tax bills totaling roughly $300,000 this year, according to city records. The county pays those taxes under the terms of its lease, and administration officials estimate the obligation will drop to $75,000 post-purchase.
County Clerk Adam Bello proposed opening a full-time Department of Motor Vehicles office at City Place as part of the 2017 county budget. Legislature Republicans sank the plan after raising questions about its finances and whether the county could make alterations to a building it didn't own. The office would have required some minor construction.
Sleezer says the purchase and renovations have nothing to do with the DMV office.