Submitted by Howard B. Owens on April 21, 2014 - 8:18am
The City of Batavia is suing the Genesee County Mall Merchants Association for $805,000.
Court papers just filed and obtained by WBTA show the city has filed a complaint against the mall association for past due rent. The city also wants the lease for the mall concourse to be terminated.
The city claims the Mall Association has not paid fair market rent for the mall concourse since April of 2000.
The bad blood between the city and the mall association goes back years.
The mall has claimed that since the city owns the concourse, it is responsible to replace the roof and make other improvements.
The city says that the lease clearly states the mall is responsible for the maintenance of the roof and other public areas.
City Manager Jason Molino, reluctant to talk about details of the latest legal salvo, says he is hopeful the situation can be resolved:
"Hopefully, we will be able to have a permanent resolution to a decade-long conflict that will ultimately contribute to the community."
City Council President Brooks Hawley issued a prepared statement declining comment on the latest legal action while it is pending litigation:
"In the course of defending the City's interests in the case, certain information has become available resulting in the City to pursuing a claim against the Merchants Association. To the extent that this is pending litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment any further."
The Mall Association has been leasing the concourse from the city for $1 a year plus the maintenance costs. The city contends the mall has not kept up with repairs and maintenance equal to the fair market rent.