With the ink dry on a new lease between the Town of Leesburg and the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company, dirt can now move on plans to expand the Plaza Street fire station.
Council members last week signed off on a ground lease of the 61 Plaza Street property. More than 20 years ago, in March 1996, the town and LVFC signed a letter of intent providing that the town would lease 1.5 acres to the fire company for the purpose of providing fire and rescue services. For whatever reason, Town Attorney Barbara Notar said, a lease agreement was never negotiated or executed so the town and the fire company have been operating under the letter of intent ever since.
But, with Loudoun County submitting an application to the town last year to expand the fire station, the Department of Plan Review required as part of site plan approval that an applicant have a legal right to be on the property. Hence, the need for a signed lease, Notar said.
Current plans call for an additional 7,162 square feet to be added to Station 20. The new space will provide space for bunks, lockers and an exercise room; a kitchen and dining space; a dayroom; and apparatus day support.
The lease will be for 40 years, the maximum allowed for towns and cities in Virginia, under state code and the Virginia Constitution. The nominal lease fee of $1/year will remain.
At the conclusion of the 40 years, the town will own the land and improvements, but a new lease can be negotiated, Notar said.
The council approved the lease in a 6-0-1 vote Oct. 9, with Councilman Tom Dunn absent.