The Port Authority moves to terminate the lease of one of its farm tenants.
The Port entered into a three year lease with North River Custom Cattle for 170 acres at the Eastpointe Industrial Park. The lease allows the company to farm the land.
Port Authority Director Mike Jacoby said that North River Custom Cattle doesn't have the funds to pay the portion of this year's lease of over $17,000. The board approved the lease be terminated and be given to the next highest bidder, Ron Madden.
"My understanding is that it's too late to plant corn and it's getting late in terms of planting soybeans," explained Jacoby. "We need to find somebody who can act quickly and can get the seed and do whatever needs to be done to get that seed in the ground."
The Port also leases land at Northpointe and Airport Industrial Park to farmers. Jacoby said in hindsight they should have altered the lease agreements.
"I think what we probably should have done is made the lease payment due earlier in the year," said Jacoby. "We would have more warning if the tenant's not going to fulfill the contract, so live and learn kind of thing."
In total leasing the land to farmers generates around $30,000 a year and cuts down on the cost of mowing.