RYE, N.Y. -- The Rye Arts Center does not have to worry about finding a new location until at least 2041 after the city extended its lease for 25 years.
The Arts Center's lease was set to expire in 2016. The $1 a year lease was first signed back in 1986 to last for 30 years. Mayor Doug French said that he was approached by members of the Arts Center back in 2010 and began a discussion about extending the relationship.
"We all came to the same conclusion, which is the Arts Center is good for Rye," French said. "It brings people here, it allows our residents to go from the Nature Center to the Arts Center to town. All the cultural experiences make a good quality of life in Rye."
The Arts Center will continue to pay $1 per year, and will be responsible for maintenance and operating costs. Since 1986, the Arts Center has spent around $1.2 million on capital improvements. Each year it spends about $24,000 on fire and liability insurance, and between $35,000 and $50,000 on maintenance, repairs, fuel and utilities. It has not paid for sewer and refuse taxes, but will begin to as part of the new agreement. The grounds are property of the city, and the city will pay expenses related to maintaining the parking lots, cutting grass and removing snow.
"I think that we're just looking forward to an opportunity to continue to do what we do, which is to serve all segments of our community from the youngest to the oldest, bringing them art, music, a wonderful gallery, play readings, concerts for the community," said Eileen Neiman, president of the Arts Center's Board of Trustees. "We just really appreciate that everyone has taken the time to appreciate what a jewel it is in the community."