By Tina Traster
Rockland County legislators have proposed a law that would streamline the process for nonprofits to lease space in county buildings. The Rockland County Shared Space Initiative is specifically aimed at offering 25,000 square feet of leased space to nonprofits on the 5th floor of the Robert Yeager Health Complex in Pomona.
“With the support of the County Legislature, we will pass a new local law creating a more efficient way of assisting our valued non-profits who already contract with the county to provide services by actually leasing space to them and better focusing the overall effort to provide services to our residents,” said County Executive Ed Day.
Day made these remarks at a press conference Thursday, which included representatives from MHA Rockland, MHA Westchester, BRiDGES, VCS Inc., Cornell Cooperative Extension and Nyack Montefiore Hospital. Attendees were given a tour of the recently-renovated 6th floor to show the high-quality space that is available to be leased by non-profits. The County Departments of Purchasing, Human Rights and Environmental Resources occupy the 6th floor.
Floors six through 9 of Building A at 50 Sanitorium Road, the former site of the county-run nursing home, are occupied by county employees.
Nonprofits that vie for the space will not pay a per square foot leasing price. Rather, they will be expected to cover the county’s costs for maintaining the space including utilities, water, maintenance, security and insurance.
The county executive says the leasing opportunities will not only save nonprofits money, but will consolidate services in one place.
“This step forward will help transform this complex into a modern, professional human services hub; a ‘one stop shop’ ,” said Day. “An effort that will improve health outcomes and the wellness of the people of Rockland through the delivery of a continuum of critical services.”
The law is designed to streamline the process for nonprofits to lease space.
“The process takes too long,” said a spokesman for the county. “It’s pretty convoluted to work out a contract and get approved in a timely manner. The process takes too long and we can’t react quickly enough.”
When nonprofits want to lease county space, they must go before the county legislature. If the law passes, leases for less than $100,000 can bypass legislative approval. Leasing will be overseen by the county executive’s office.
The bi-partisan bill, co-sponsored by Legislative Minority Leader Lon Hofstein, Legislative Chairman Toney Earl and Legislator Harriet Cornell, will be considered in committee on June 26th, and is expected to be presented to the full board on July 9th.