PELL CITY -- DroneTek, a technology based company, is expected to move into a portion of the Municipal Complex building in November.
The City Council approved a lease agreement between DroneTek and the municipality at Monday night’s council meeting. The council also approved an ordinance declaring the upstairs space in the Municipal Complex unneeded for municipal purposes, so the city could lease the space to the company.
City Manager Brian Muenger said the area DroneTek will occupy is the former Pell City Board of Education office space on the second floor, about 8,000 square feet. The BOE moved out of the facility after the city purchased the building in 2014.
“With no immediate municipal need for the additional space on the second story, I believe it is prudent for the city to consider leasing the space to a third party,” Muenger told the council before city officials unanimously approved the lease agreement with DroneTek. “Leasing space in the building would help further defray the cost of operation, which is substantial, with the electrical cost of the facility alone being estimated at more than $120,000 in the current fiscal year.”
The city will lease the offices to DroneTek for $3,200 a month for a 12-month period, with two additional one-year extensions available under the same terms.
Muenger said the city was approached by Michael Golden, owner of DroneTek Inc., about leasing the space. Also occupying the upstairs portion of the building is CenturyLink, which also leases the basement. Other tenants in the Municipal Complex include the Pell City Chamber of Commerce and the Pell City Public Library, both occupying space on the main floor.
Muenger said DroneTek would house about 15 employees performing engineering work, modification of drones and associated business activities.
In accordance with the lease agreement, DroneTek would have access to the shared conference room and restrooms on the second floor. The company, among other things, builds drones for emergency services and law enforcement agencies.
Muenger said the city will have to replace the carpet in the office space, along with installing new light fixtures, which will cost the municipality about $24,000. City workers will replace ceiling panels that are damaged.
Muenger said the city would recoup the renovation costs through monthly payments within the first year of the lease.