The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 30, 2013

PEGASYS agrees to move into The Non-Profit Center

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid public-access television station PEGASYS has finalized a temporary contract to relocate its office to The Non-Profit Center.

Executive Director Wendy Quarles said the target date for moving the station’s equipment and personnel is set for Thursday, the same day the temporary lease begins.

In a meeting Tuesday, PEGASYS board members approved the four-month lease agreement with Community Development Support Association, which manages The Non-Profit Center. As Quarles presented the lease to the board, Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said PEGASYS also should have the permanent contract ready.

In earlier discussions, Quarles has said the station has plans to move into a more permanent office at The Non-Profit Center, but the terms of that agreement are not in writing yet. However, PEGASYS has initiated an architectural contract to renovate the basement of the building. Those renovations are budgeted to cost at or less than $240,000.

Vanhooser said PEGASYS officials should know what it will cost to rent the basement before they spend a “quarter-million dollars” fixing it up.

“It makes good business sense to have a lease in place before you go spending money in someone else’s building,” he said. “That contract ought to be in place before we get started.”

PEGASYS board member Jim Nay asked Quarles whether CDSA is pressuring her to sign the temporary lease contract.

“Yes,” Quarles said.

Nay said PEGASYS should similarly pressure CDSA into agreeing on a lease for the long-term space soon.

The terms of where PEGASYS will stay and how much it will pay are too vague, Vanhooser told the board.

“We desperately need this contract nailed down,” he said.

Quarles said without the city’s budget that appropriated the station’s funds, including moving expenses, she couldn’t effectively negotiate a lease agreement.

“We’re thrilled we’re able to finally move forward with it,” she said.

Vanhooser said the city commission already has appropriated the station’s operating expenses for the year. If costs of operation go up, he said, it might be hard to find the money elsewhere.

“We know what the limits are going to be, but we don’t know if we can live within them yet,” he said. “Where’s the excess money going to come from if we can’t?”

The temporary lease has PEGASYS paying $1,060 per month to take up residence in the mezzanine of The Non-Profit Center. As written, it expires in December and Quarles said if basement renovations are not ready, CDSA will ask for a month-by-month lease.

Quarles told the board CDSA Executive Director Cheri Ezzell said rent for the basement office, when it is completely renovated, will be $1,500 plus the cost of four parking spaces.