In March 2014 the lease between the District of Houston and the Houston Link to Learning (HLTL) for the community gardens expired. However, the HLTL has continued to pay the use of the community gardens on an as is basis.
“The District of Houston has, for at least 15 years to my knowledge, leased the Community Garden space to the Houston Link to Learning for $1.00 per year. There was a lull in paperwork for some reason but the lease continued,” said Marian Ells,program manager for the Houston Link to Learning.
District of Houston staff approached the HLTL to renew the lease. According to the report after reviewing the agreement, theHLTL requested that section 10 “The Lessee agrees to pay any utilities and insurance costs for the loss of its equipment and structures related to the community garden operations” be removed.
“The Houston Link to Learning takes care of all the garden related costs and we have our own insurance. The removal of section 10 from the lease was done following a request from the Houston Link to Learning. The only utilities cost that was incurred previously was $40 to turn the water on at the garden and $40 to turn it off,” said Ells.
“With the garden on a really tight budget we had requested that the District of Houston no longer charge us for this,”continued Ells. “We were really happy to see that they have agreed to remove this so we don’t have to pay the fees anymore.”
In effect, the District of Houston will be responsible for incurring fees for turning on and off the water services for the community garden.
The lease agreement will be valid for five years commencing May 1, 2017 and expiring on Apr. 30, 2022 at a cost of $1.00 for the entire term.
“So now we will literally just pay the $1.00 per year. We really appreciate the support from the district, we know times are hard yet they still choose to support this program for the community,” said Ells.