St Marys gets windfall from Subaru

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Brand new vehicles will be rolling into St. Marys by the hundreds starting next month because of a leasing agreement between the city and Subaru Corporation of America.  Council approved leasing the city’s former airport site to the company for overflow parking over the next three months...

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Brand new vehicles will be rolling into St. Marys by the hundreds starting next month because of a leasing agreement between the city and Subaru Corporation of America. 

Council approved leasing the city’s former airport site to the company for overflow parking over the next three months after an executive session Monday. St. Marys Mayor John Morrissey added that the vehicles enter the country at the Port of Brunswick, but the supply chain has stalled due to nationwide lockdowns related to COVID-19. 

The company’s search for additional space led them to St. Marys. 

“To me, it’s a win-win for everybody.  All of our dealings so far have been great. … I feel it is a very fair deal,” Morrissey said. 

Starting in May, the company will pay the city approximately $95,000 per month to park cars on the approximately 190 useable acres on the site. The land could hold up to 30,000 cars and city staff expect the impacts to minimal outside of an increase in traffic.

“I’m hoping once they get into the rhythm of the situation, they will want to keep it leased beyond that,” Morrissey said. 

Subaru will provide fencing, security lighting and temporary office space on the property and the city will provide mowing and other maintenance-related tasks, he added. 

The extra revenue comes at a critical time for the city, considering the decrease in revenues expected from March and April sales tax collections. 

“We don’t know how big (the shortfall) will be, but it’s coming,” Morrissey said. “This is a great safety net that has been given to us.”

The mayor said it may not cover all of the city’s liabilities, but the unexpected windfall was well timed.