Lease agreement discussed on Suntrust tower

Updated:

Loading

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County commissioners discussed a lease agreement Tuesday with tax collector Scott Randolph.

The county wants to extend the lease at the Suntrust tower.

But, Randolph wants to move his headquarters to an office building near the Fashion Square Mall. It's a move he said will save tax dollars.         

Randolph told the county commissioners that leasing an office building near the mall for the headquarters and some other operations would save taxpayers about $200,000 a year.

But the county's facilities manager told commissioners the tax collector didn't get his numbers right.

"The analysis presented by the tax collector comparing the Maguire and SunTrust lease is based on inaccurate and misleading assumptions," said county facilities manager John Terwilliger. 

He said that moving to that location would actually cost about $800,000 more over five years.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs calls dealing with the tax collector on the issue, "frustrating."

"It doesn't seem Mr. Randolph is working with the county staff and he'll probably say the same thing about them. I've heard him say that. But, I don't think it makes sense for two different real estate agents to be searching for property and sometimes competing with each other," said Jacobs.

"I still believe my options save money both in the short term and the long term. And, I will stand by those numbers," said Randolph.

Randolph said he's willing to compromise, but the decision of where to put his headquarters is not his to make. It's up to the county commissioners.

He believes the actions he took at least got the county focused on a long-term solution.

In a month, commissioners will meet again with better estimates of how much it would cost to construct another building on the property, elsewhere or to buy an existing building.

Commissioners will decide whether they should renew the Suntrust lease, and then move the tax collector and the property appraiser into a new county building.