Saco School Department Says Toddle Inn Lease Canceled

The Saco School Department and Saco School Board say their lease with the Toddle Inn owners is void and they want their money back. Newspaper Tribune Photo File

CESO – The Saco School Department and Saco School Board have informed the owners of the Toddle Inn property on Willey Road that the lease between the two entities is void and demanded that the money paid by the Saco School Department to the Toddle Inn be returned.

The school department entered into a lease with the owners of the Toddle Inn on May 1 with the intention of using the building, located in Spring Hill Business Park, for a preschool program, but this did not happen. product.

City officials argued that the restrictive covenants prevent both the ownership and use of non-taxable entities in the business park.

Additionally, a city electrical inspector found that the property had not been inspected since 2005, there had never been an electrical inspection or permits issued for the pool and pool house on the property, and when the old Toddle Inn building was converted to propane gas, no electrical inspections of the heating or cooling equipment took place, according to a September 18 Journal Tribune article by Liz Gotthelf. The city ordered that the building’s power supply be cut. The school department had appealed the decision, noting that it had found an alternate location for the pre-k program for the fall, but city council ruled the city was justified in the disconnection.

There were other calls.

The Saco School Department and Saco School Board released a statement on Tuesday.

“On May 1, 2019, Toddle Inn rented the property at 5 Willey Road to the Saco School Department. Toddle Inn indicated in the lease that it had full authority to lease the space to the school department for a public preschool program and that the lease would not require approval, ”the document said.

“After learning that city approvals were needed, the school department informed Toddle Inn, but Toddle Inn did not seek and obtain the necessary approvals. Following a review by the Economic Development Commission, City Council and Planning Board, the city has banned the school department’s use of 5 Willey Road for any purpose, including of operating a preschool program as provided for in the lease, ”the other states document. “The school department has informed Toddle Inn that the lease is void and has demanded the prompt return of all payments made by the school department.”

When asked to comment, Toddle Inn attorney Timothy Bryant made the following statement:

“Toddle Inn has been a proud member of the Saco and Southern Maine community for decades,” Bryant wrote. Toddle Inn remains, as always, committed to providing quality child care and early childhood education. When the Saco School Department expressed a desire to use the Toddle Inn facilities in Saco to host their pre-kindergarten programs, my client worked in conjunction with the Saco School Department to come to a fair and appropriate agreement to make the Toddle Inn building available. Based on the validly signed rental agreement, Toddle Inn has closed its Saco facility in order to meet the increased needs of the community.

“The decision and lease entered into by Toddle Inn was made with care, thought and with the support and cooperation of the Saco School Department,” continued Bryant. “Subsequently, Toddle Inn honored the terms of the lease. While this is certainly not my client’s preference, Toddle Inn is prepared to defend their legal rights as set out in the lease.

The lease was made when Saco’s school department determined it needed more classroom space for its expanding kindergarten this fall. The Saco School Board authorized the superintendent to sign a 10-year lease with Toddle Inn to use the former Spring Hill Business Park daycare, according to a July 27 Journal Tribune article.

The 10-year lease included a security deposit of $ 24,000, plus $ 24,000 in monthly rent, with an increase of 2% each year over the 10-year period. The lease is a triple net lease, which means the tenant must pay property taxes, insurance and building maintenance, in addition to rent and utilities, according to the Journal Tribune article of July 27.

Saco School Superintendent Dominic DePatsy was unavailable for comment on the statement Tuesday by the newspaper’s print deadline, and Saco School Board President Garrett Abrahamson did not immediately respond to a telephone message asking for comments.

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