Vero Beach talks about leasing empty building at wastewater plant to sailing group

VERO BEACH — A building at the city’s Wastewater Treatment facility might be used by the Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County to store and launch vessels.

City Manager Jim O’Connor told the City Council on Tuesday that there has been some discussion about the group using the building and that he might bring back a proposed lease for the site at a later date.

The foundation that is involved in teaching local youth to build and sail boats had been storing their vessels at part of the Vero Beach Marina temporarily. They had spoken to the city about relocating to another temporary site at MacWilliam Park near the city-owned Riverhouse, which is often rented out for weddings and other functions.

The youth sailing group’s request for land at the park to store the boats had grown over time as participation increased. At one time, the group had sought to lease a 20-by-20-foot section of land and later, a 20-by-50-foot section.

The site at the wastewater treatment facility could be a more permanent solution to the group’s needs.

O’Connor said a resident of a manufactured home park near the wastewater facility had suggested the sailing group consider a building on the site, which sits along the 17th Street Causeway. O’Connor said the building now being considered is not being used and is one of two scheduled for demolition.

It is on the south side of the property, said O’Connor, away from the wastewater plant itself and near a canal.

“They like the access it does have to the water there,” he said.

O’Connor said the city would be seeking a lease paying more than a token $1 a year, which is what the city receives for leases of city land to entities such as the Riverside Theatre and the Vero Beach Museum of Art. He said the lease would have to cover the electricity costs at the building and the group would also have to cover water and sewer costs.

He said he anticipates the lease could be for five years with renewable terms.

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