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Carefree seeks temporary town hall facilities after renting out purchased building


Tara Alatorre

CAREFREE – The town of Carefree will rent conference rooms for at least the next year from the Lutheran Church, Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, to hold its regular monthly town council meetings, starting in August, after the town hall lease expires at its current location inside the post office.

The town of Carefree purchased a $407,000 building, located on 33 Easy Street, last September for the purpose of relocated the town hall once its lease expired in July, but since then has rented the space to the developer of the Easy Street condominiums for a one-year lease with an option to renew for a second year, according to Gary Neiss, Town Administrator.

“The Council agreed to a lease which will pay for the current loan on the building,” said Neiss in an email to The Foothills Focus. “Additionally, tenant improvements would become property of the Town at the end of the lease.”

The retreat center, which is located off of Cave Creek and Elbow Bend Roads, is asking for a nominal cost per meeting to cover its expenses. The cost of the town renting the conference room for the next 12-24 months will all be covered by the revenue the received from its new tenants at 33 Easy Street, according to Neiss.

“We have not reached an agreement regarding the compensation to rent the room at the Lutheran Retreat Center,” said Neiss in an email. “However, it is anticipated that it would be between $1,000-$2,000 per year.”

Once the sales center’s lease expires at the Easy Street building, the town will begin making modifications to the first floor to create the council chambers, and then will begin to utilize it for meetings and other official town business.