By Joe Tash
The 22nd District Agricultural Association board on Tuesday, Jan. 10, agreed to refund any overpayment by the city of Del Mar on its lease of property on the Del Mar fairgrounds for use as a fire station.
The lease between the city and the state of California, administered by the agricultural district, began in 2000 and runs through 2025.
Both the city and the 22nd DAA staff believe the state miscalculated rent increases under the lease, according to a report by agricultural district staff. A letter from the city indicates the total amount overpaid is $85,000.
The board voted Tuesday to calculate the amount of overpayment and refund that amount to the city, possibly by waiving rent payments in the coming year. The board will also work with the state to amend the lease to require a payment of $1 per year from the city, the previous rate in place before the current lease was enacted.
The city paid $40,000 to lease the property in 2000, and the rent has increased each year under a formula contained in the lease, tied to the Consumer Price Index.
City officials contend the $1 per year lease is justified because the fairgrounds generates the most calls for Fire Department service of any location within the city.