Immediate Release

Thursday, September 20, 2007 

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Picente Tells Abstract Companies

Rent Will Resume as of November 1st

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced that he has informed local abstract companies of his decision to require them to resume rent payments for space they occupy in the County Office Building .

            In a letter sent to the companies, Picente said: “ … it is the function of government to advance and protect the interests of the taxpayers and abide by the law.  As indicated to you at our meeting, the County cannot allow for-profit parties to occupy public space without payment of just consideration.”

            He said that based on a comparison of Oneida County ’s former policy with policies in place in other counties, “The results of my research indicate that the total payments that were being made by abstract companies in Oneida County , up through December, 2006, were fair and reasonable, both for the taxpayers and for the abstract companies. Therefore, my recommendation to the Board of Legislators will be to continue to lease space to the abstract companies on the same terms and conditions as have been in place for a number of years.”

            Picente said the new agreements, to go into effect on November 1, 2007, will be forwarded to the companies. “No retroactive rent payments will be requested for the preceding 10 months since you previously relied on the County Clerk ’s representation that no charge would be assessed for rent,” Picente told the companies.

            “I recognize the special nature of the work that you do,” Picente told the companies, adding: “However, the space that you occupy is unique and only offered for public occupancy for abstract company purposes. Respectfully, I do not believe that comparing the rates we are charging to rates charged for larger, longer term commercial leases in the area is the best measure of the true value of the space in question.  While I would  be pleased to see all of the abstract companies agree to continue the rental arrangement previously in place, should you choose to relinquish your space, the County is prepared to either offer it to another abstract company or revert it to County office purposes.”