SOUTHAVEN, MS -- No more renting. Southaven city leaders approved purchase of a two year old fire station this week.
The city had been paying thousands every month to lease it. That deal would have cost millions more than the station is worth.
Aldermen voted to buy the station almost a year ago -- last January. It's been a questionable deal for the city, negotiated by the mayor. The board believes buying it will save taxpayers big bucks.
"It's been a long time in the making. It started out as a lease and we really thought it was a better deal to go ahead and purchase the fire station," says alderman Ronnie Hale.
Southaven's board of aldermen made the deal official this week.
"It's $3.2 million. We already had a $500,000 deposit down, then there's $100,000 in costs associated with the bond itself. That's the reason the bond issuance will be $2.875 million."
The last two years, station rent money has gone toward a 15 year lease. Under it, Southaven would have paid five and a half million dollars for the station. It's worth slightly more than three.
"It's going to cut two years off the term versus what we have on the lease. It's actually cheaper per month. We're going to save around 7 to 8 thousand dollars versus what we have on the note and then at end of the term it will belong to the city."
The city will pay for it over the next ten years.
"We need to own the station," Hale says. "It's part of the city, it needs to stay a part of the city. We didn't need to worry that in 12 to 13 years from now whether they're going to sell it to us for a dollar."
The deal will be finalized, and the city closes on the station in December.