The Bee Development Authority claims that one of the tenants of its Chase Field Industrial and Airport Complex is violating the terms of their lease.
Following more than an hour spent deliberating in executive session at its Dec. 21 special meeting, the BDA’s board voted to have its attorney draft a letter to Trojan Pipe, informing the company that it is in breach of its lease contract. Following the meeting, BDA’s Executive Director Jaime Arrisola did not specify which conditions were not being met, but said that information would be contained in the letter.
In a telephone interview, Trojan Pipe’s owner Marvin Autry said he was unaware of the meeting and that his company was not mentioned on the official agenda.
“I knew nothing about this,” he said. “I’ve been paying the rents accordingly. We’re in a slump year because of COVID, and we’ve been paying the rent according to the schedule.”
Autrey then accused the BDA of breaching the lease agreement.
“I can say they’re in breach of contract,” he said. “They’ve never done any maintenance on the roof, and now it’s caving in on one side.”
That accusation was rebuked by Arrisola, however.
“First and foremost, (Autry) is under a triple net lease agreement. So he’s responsible for the maintenance of the building.”
According to investopedia.com, in a triple net lease, a tenant or lessee promises to pay all expenses including property taxes, building insurance and maintenance in addition to rent and utilities.
Arrisola also added that the group’s attorney, former Bee County Judge Stephanie Moreno, would release a full statement on behalf of the BDA regarding Autrey’s accusations.
BDA had raised concerns in February over its agreement with Trojan Pipe. At that time, the board engaged an attorney to review the lease, specifically the amount charged and the amount of jobs the company promised to deliver. The lease, a copy of which was obtained by the Bee-Picayune through an open records request, during the 2019 calendar year, Trojan Pipe was required to have 40 full-time employees. That amount was supposed to have doubled by Jan. 1, 2020.
If the employee benchmarks are not met, the agreement allows BDA to increase the amount charged monthly for rent.