Richland fire station gets new leaseholder

The old Wright Street Fire Station in Richland is on track to have a new leaseholder — and perhaps eventually a new owner.

The Richland City Council on Tuesday authorized City Manager Cindy Johnson to sign and execute a lease agreement with Sagebrush Montessori for the facility. The school will have the option to buy at the end of the lease’s three-year term.

Originally a neighborhood fire station, the nearly 3,000-square-foot Wright Street facility next to Frankfort Park for years has been used as a preschool operated by different groups. City staffers are working with the current operator — a parent cooperative — to transition to the Richland Community Center, according to information provided to the council.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Johnson described the lease as a good thing, noting the Wright Street building will continue to be used for youngsters, and the parent cooperative will fit in well at the community center.Sagebrush Montessori will pay $1,482 a month under the lease agreement. The city will give credit for facility improvements made, and “staff anticipates approximately 18 months of lease credit at which time cash lease payments will be collected,” the city information said.

The money will go to the Park Reserve Fund.

The information said the montessori “is responsible for utilities, maintenance and operation of the facilities and grounds.”

Also Tuesday:

w The council was formally introduced to H. Keith Moo-Young, the new chancellor of Washington State University Tri-Cities. Moo-Young noted the strong relationship the campus and city have forged and said he wants to see it continue.

w The council heard an update on the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, which is scheduled to open next summer at the west end of Columbia Park. Dan Boyd, a member of the Richland Public Facilities District Board, which is developing the project, touched on topics from facility construction to the budget, exhibits and the transition of the CREHST museum.

w The council welcomed Heather Kintzley, the new city attorney. The former Kennewick assistant city attorney and human resources director replaces Tom Lampson, who recently retired after nearly 30 years with the city.

w Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald