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 Lease Agreement for Use of the Sutherland-Wilson Farm
Signing Lease for Sutherland-Wilson Farm, 12 August 2004 (click to enlarge)

Caption: Lease signing, 12 August 2004. Supervisor Walter is seated. Behind him (right to left) are Betty LeClair, C. Edward Wall, Mary Ellen Wall, and Christina L. Lirones. Click image for a larger version.

Lease Agreement
Between the
Pittslfield Township Historical Society
And
Pittsfield Charter Township
For The Use Of
Sutherland-Wilson Farmstead
Dated: 12 August 2004

Pittsfield Charter Township, a Michigan Municipal Corporation, hereinafter called Township, with offices at 6201 W. Michigan Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108, (“Landlord”), and the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, a Michigan non-profit corporation, hereinafter called Society, (“Tenant”), hereby agree to the following terms and conditions.

  • 1. Intent. This lease is created to formally bring together Pittsfield Charter Township, owners of the historic Sutherland–Wilson Farm (4.62 acre site) hereinafter referred to as the “Site”, and the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, an organization devoted to preservation and the recording and teaching of local history. The historic Sutherland–Wilson Farm site provides the atmosphere for the Society to bring local history to the attention of the community.

    The terms and conditions of this lease are written to reflect a partnership spirit between the Township and the Society to carry out the terms outlined in the Purchase and Use Agreement between Harold and Mary Wilson and Pittsfield Charter Township dated November 16, 2000.
  • 2. Benefits to the Township. Establishing a local history museum sends a message to the community that the efforts of area residents, over the years, are not forgotten and their accomplishments can continue to influence and inspire the lives of those who follow. The recording and teaching of local history increases the knowledge of residents about their community and creates a feeling of belonging. This feeling in turn results in increased community strength and character.
  • 3. Benefits to the Society. Teaching with artifacts and farm-related activities that tell the story of our community in a setting that includes structures that were an important part of our early landscape creates a solid learning atmosphere. The teaching and recording activities of the Society in such an environment can be cumulative from year to year with a continuity of purpose that leads to an on-going enthusiasm.
  • 4. Description. The Township leases to the Society the property described as follows:

    PARCEL “A” commencing at the North East 1/4 Quarter Corner of Section 29, Thence South 88 degrees 22 minutes 18 seconds West 508.21 feet to a Place Of Beginning, Thence South 01 degrees 37 minutes 42 seconds East 415.32 feet, Thence North 88 degrees 22 minutes 18 seconds East 125 feet, Thence South 01 degrees 37 minutes 42 seconds East 151.33 feet, Thence South 88 degrees 22 minutes 18 seconds West 483.42 feet, Thence North 05 degrees 47 minutes 58 second East 571.44 feet, Thence North 88 degrees 22 minutes 18 seconds East 284.55 feet to Place Of Beginning. Part of the North East 1/4 quarter Section 29, Town 3 South-Range 6 East. 4.62 Acres.
  • 5. Term. The initial term of the lease is for five (5) years, commencing on July 1, 2004. This lease shall thereafter renew for successive five (5) year periods, upon the same terms and conditions or mutually agreed upon revisions, unless terminated by either party by giving written notice to the other no less than six (6) months prior to the expiration of the then current term, or as hereinafter otherwise provided.
  • 6. Rent. In consideration of the Society's agreement to operate the premises as a center for the teaching and recording of local history, the Township agrees that the rent shall be One and 00/100 Dollar ($ 1.00) per year.
  • 7. Usage. The primary use of this site will be as a historic site operated by the Society. The Society would utilize the available floor space for the display of records, artifacts, photographs and exhibits that best illustrate the history of Pittsfield Charter Township or the Pittsfield area.

    The Society shall prepare a schedule which is mutually agreeable to the Society and to the Township of hours when the museum shall be open to the public.

    There will be no charge for admission to the museum.

    No commercial offices will be allowed on the premises.

    No commercial activity unrelated to historical functions will be allowed on the premises.

    Operation of the Site for historical purposes requires that the Society prepare schedules of the activities planned with copies to the Pittsfield Township Historical Commission.
  • 8. Planning and Communication. General plans by the Historical Society for development, restoration, activities, and related use on this Site shall be submitted to, discussed with, and reviewed by the Historical Commission, which in turn will submit them in cooperation with the Society to the Township Supervisor and Board for approval. Such general plans shall be updated from time to time as conditions, objectives, and other circumstances dictate or warrant – and shall be subject to review and approval as outlined above. “General plans” include statements of objectives, funding, and related issues which will determine the course of subsequent efforts, work and programming of the Society related to Site. Should subsequent efforts, work and programming expand beyond the previously defined scope of approved plans, then an amended plan shall be submitted as outlined above.

    Interpretation and fulfilling the terms and conditions of this lease or additional terms and conditions not included in this lease – such as the plans referenced above – are to be discussed and agreements reached by the board of directors of the Historical Society and the Township as described above – or by (a) duly appointed representative(s) of each.

    The Historical Society will provide the Township (specifically, the Historical Commission and the Supervisor), on a timely basis, with a current schedule of events that are planned for the site. As required a member of the Historical Society Board shall review Site activities during regular or special meetings of the Historical Commission.

    Consideration and expectation regarding written requests will be sympathetic to the normal meeting dates of the boards and the Historical Commission. In response, the boards and Historical Commission will provide timely review and response to Society matters and requests. If agreement cannot be reached through the planning and communication process described then a final decision by the Township shall prevail.
  • 9. Maintenance and Utilities. The Township and the Society agree to the following division of responsibilities. The Society shall assume responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of buildings and grounds, except as noted below.

    Mowing the lawn and snow removal will continue to be the responsibility of the Township. Other maintenance expenses shall be the responsibility of the Society.

    Electricity, gas, sewer and water charges for the Wilson residence/museum shall be paid by the Township.

    The Society may install a security system acceptable to the Township for the Wilson residence/museum. The monthly cost for this system is to be paid by the Township.

    The Society shall keep the buildings interiors in a clean, neat and safe condition and police the grounds on a regular basis.
  • 10. Ownership of Contents. The ownership of artifacts, photographs, exhibits, exhibit cases, tables, chairs and other materials and equipment related to the operation of the center will remain with the Township, except for items expressly gifted to the Society, a Michigan (501-C-3) non-profit corporation, for tax benefit purposes which shall belong to the Society pursuant to the provisions of its bylaws. Items on loan to or purchased by the Society are excepted from this provision.
  • 11. Costs and Projects for Site Development. The Society, in cooperation with Township staff, shall prepare and file with the Township Planner a site plan for informal approval pursuant to existing ordinances. Such site plan shall show the estimated costs for all planned capital improvements and an estimated time table of their completion. The Township shall waive all permit and inspection costs in connection with this project.
  • 12. Building Occupancy Sequence. The Township and the Society shall mutually agree to a sequence of projects indicating the development projects that must be completed before a designated type of occupancy can be permitted. Types of occupancy would include, volunteer in-kind labor, board meetings, Society public meetings, public tours, school tours and special events.

    In the interests of cleanliness, safety and security it is important that access to the property by volunteers be permitted as soon as possible.
  • 13. Capital Funding. Providing funding for the completion of development projects in accordance with the agreed upon list of projects in the sequence outlined in Article 12 of this document to permit occupancy of some type at the earliest possible date shall be the responsibility of the Society. As a 501-C-3 non-profit corporation the Society will continue to initiate fund raising projects for the purpose of completing development projects.

    The Township as the governmental agency may initiate grant funding from time to time for use in various ways to support the Site. The Society will act in support of any grant funding requests.

    Society funding contributed for capital projects will be approved by the board of directors of the Society and directed to specific development projects.
  • 14. In Kind Efforts. The Society shall provide volunteer in-kind hours for the routine maintenance of the buildings interior. This effort to include cleaning of floors, windows, baths, exhibit cases, artifacts, tables, chairs, photographs, walls, sills, lights, furnace filter and such.

    Volunteer time will also be available to assist in exterior maintenance such as litter, entryways, flower tending, sweeping walkways and such.
  • 15. Insurance. The Township shall provide coverage for the house, barn and other outbuildings in the event of partial or complete loss from fire, wind, vandalism or the like. The Society shall maintain coverage for the contents of the buildings that could be damaged by fire, wind, vandalism, theft and such. The Society also shall maintain a liability policy in the event of legal action from a visitor or volunteer when open or closed.

    Amounts of coverage for each policy to be reviewed and approved by the Township.
  • 16. Termination by the Township Without Cause. After each five (5) year term of this lease the Township may terminate this lease, for any reason, upon giving six (6) months advance written notice to the Society.

    Upon such notice to the Society by the Township the Society shall remove all contents owned by it including exhibits, cases, tables, chairs, artifacts, records and such by the ending date. The Society shall leave the buildings in a sweep clean condition.

    Upon completion of the move out the Township shall reimburse the Society for the material cost of all capital funding provided by the Society, except such capital funding as was provided by gifts made to the Society for capital improvements on said 4.62 acre site, and the material cost of repairs authorized by the Township and funded by the Society from sources other than gifts made to the Society for such repairs.
  • 17. Termination by the Township for cause. If the Society is at any time unable or unwilling to continue to perform its obligations under this lease (except for the reasons described in item 18), the Township may terminate this lease for such cause upon giving six (6) months advance written notice to the Society, without reimbursement to the Society for the cost of capital improvements or repairs made.
  • 18. Voluntary Termination by Society. After each five (5) year term of this lease the Society may terminate this lease, for any reason, upon giving six (6) months advance written notice to the Township.

    Upon such notice to the Township by the Society the Society shall remove all its contents including exhibits, cases, tables, chairs, artifacts, records and such by the ending date (except as negotiated with the Township). The Society shall leave the buildings in a sweep clean condition.

    No return by the Township of capital funding or repair costs provided by the Society shall be necessary in this case.
  • 19. Involuntary Termination by Society. In the event that certain conditions arise that preclude the use of the site as a local history center the Society, after written notice would be permitted to terminate the lease prior to the five (5) year term and with six (6) months notification.

    Upon such notice the Society shall remove all its contents, as described, as soon as possible and leave the buildings in a sweep clean condition.

    Under such conditions the Township shall reimburse the Society for the material cost of all capital funding provided by the Society, except such capital funding as was provided by gifts made to the Society for capital improvements on said 4.62 acre site, and the material cost of repairs authorized by the Township and funded by the Society from sources other than gifts made to the Society for such repairs.

    Examples of in-voluntary termination could include severe fire, wind or vandalism damage to the site. Pittsfield Charter Township regulations that could not be met such as environmental hazards, property use restrictions, condemnation procedures, or present or new surrounding use activities that could affect Society activities adversely such as safety, excess noise etc.
  • 20. Signs. The location, size, appearance and wording of all signs on the site shall be approved by the Township planner and conform to Township Ordinances. A partial schedule of activities at the center may be a part of the signs content. The Society shall keep the sign presentable and current.
  • 21. Assignment or Sublease. Neither the Society nor the Township shall assign or sublease any part of the site to others without the express permission of both the Society and the Township.

    No persons shall be allowed to reside on the premises.
  • 22. Alterations. The Society shall make no alterations or additions to the site, buildings or grounds without the written consent of the Township. Upon written application by the Society to the Township to make any alterations or additions to the site, buildings or grounds, the Township and the Society shall negotiate a written agreement describing the proposed alterations or additions, the estimated cost thereof, the source or sources of funding therefore, and whether or not the Township shall be obligated to reimburse the Society for the cost of such alterations or additions, or any part thereof, upon termination of this lease as set forth in paragraphs 16, 17, 18 and 19 hereof, and the terms of such written agreement, duly approved by resolution of the Pittsfield Charter Township Board of Trustees shall supersede the general guidelines for such reimbursement set for in said termination paragraphs.
  • 23. Right to Enter Site Buildings. Authorized Township employees shall have the right to enter the buildings at any time for purposes such as inspection, contractor bidding, maintenance, etc.

    The Society shall limit the number of members who shall be authorized to open the buildings for purposes such as maintenance, set up for functions, opening for tours, etc.

    Each authorized representative of the Township or the Society shall be responsible for closing the building and checking the heat, lights and security following the entry of that authorized representative.
  • 24. Positive Promotion. Every effort: should be made by both the Society and the Township to promote center activities and benefits to the community. A show of common purpose during meetings, in correspondence, newsletters, articles for the paper, t.v., posters, etc. will insure the support the center must have for success.
  • 25. Future Planning. Based on the progress of the project described herein and the references to historic preservation as described in the Township master plan the Township shall remain sensitive to needs for the enhancement of the Sutherland-Wilson Farm historic site.

Witnesses:

Landlord: Pittsfield Charter Township
By: James R. Walter, Its Supervisor
By: Christina L. Lirones, Its Clerk

Pittsfield Township Historical Society
By: Betty LeClair, Its President
By: C. Edward Wall, Its Trustee

Witnessed by: Mary Ellen Wall

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