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Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Board members question price of Cap Metro’s downtown office space
Some members of the Capital Metro board think the agency may be paying too much for property it leases in downtown
The property is the Capital Metro office at
“Why is the price of the contract going from $284,000 to $875,000 in just one year?”
Capital Metro has maintained the downtown space for several years, and leases other space in several areas of the city. The agency may also be leasing space near MetroRail stations in the future.
Mayor ProTem Brewster McCracken wondered if the downtown space was really needed.
“What do we use it for that is worth that amount?” McCracken asked. “I hope we can look for ways to partner with other cities, or the county, in order to save money when need space. There are a lot of good opportunities to do that.”
President Fred Gilliam said leasing the space was necessary.
“We use those spaces for ticket sales,” he said. “We are looking at finding space in conjunction with the city and others, in places such as the Convention Center and other city and county facilities.” Even though tickets are sold in convenience and grocery stores around the city, evidently there are no other downtown locations.
Gilliam said the agency’s staff is currently preparing a space needs analysis that will take a 20-year look at the agency’s needs. He said there is an emphasis on making sure Capital Metro has a presence in the transit-oriented development near its MetroRail stations and major Park-and-Ride facilities.
New Board Member Mike Manor commented that staff should make certain that there is public input into the process of leasing space for Capital Metro facilities.
“We need to find ways to integrate the agency into the community,” he said. “There are numerous groups that need a voice in this process.”
The item was pulled off the agenda for September and will be rescheduled for the October meeting.
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