May 05 2016
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On November 6, the City of Llano received a ‘Demand and Default Notice’ demanding payment for the Minimum Annual Rent for the Groundwater Rights Lease between the City and Will Leverett, also known as the ‘Riley Mountain Well Lease’.
Leverett is asking that the City issue the annual payment of $12,500, which was due on October 1 of this year.
At the June 15, 2015 meeting of the City Council, Council discussed terminating the lease, since the well project had been abandoned in April. At that time, City Manager Brenton Lewis told Council that the lease renewed annually, and that if they took no action, the lease would expire. At that point, Council voted to leave the contract in place until it lapsed.
The City has not drilled on the property for this project. Bids received were not answered, and thus rejected without further action.
At the August 17 meeting, Council discussed the termination of the lease in Executive Session.
When they returned to Open Session, Council voted to have Mayor Mike Reagor attempt to negotiate the 50-year contract. In the contract, there is no language included that allows for termination.
According to the letter received from Margaret Menicucci, attorney with Braun and Gresham, PLLC, who is representing Leverett in this matter, Leverett said that Mayor Reagor did approach him requesting that the contract be terminated. Menicucci said that Leverett considered the request, but does not want to terminate the lease.
Should the City fail to pay the rent due, then Menicucci states that Leverett ‘will pursue all legal and equitable remedies against the City, including the payment of all attorneys’ fees and costs incurred to enforce or protect his rights under the Lease.”
City Manager Brenton Lewis confirmed that the Council will discuss the issue in Executive Session at the December 7 meeting of the City Council.